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'Happy Days' Cast 'Satisfied' to Settle Royalties Lawsuit With CBS

July 7, 2012 (1:30 am) GMT
The network and the sitcom's stars, including Anson Williams and Marion Ross, reach settlement over merchandising fees, 11 days before they were supposed to go to trial.
'Happy Days' Cast 'Satisfied' to Settle Royalties Lawsuit With CBS

CBS and "Happy Days" cast members have settled a dispute over payments for the use of their images in merchandising. The out-of-court settlement of the lawsuit, which was filed by the sitcom's stars in 2011, came just 11 days before a scheduled trial for the case was supposed to start.

"The case has been settled," so the network announced on Friday, July 6. "All contractual obligations will be honored, as we had promised from the beginning. We appreciate the Court's earlier dismissal of the far-reaching claims, which paved the way for an ordinary settlement based on contractual issues."

On the other hand, attorney Jon Pfeiffer who represents the plaintiffs said the actors "are satisfied with the outcome." He added, "The terms of the settlement are confidential... We will continue to receive all of the merchandising royalties promised to us in our contracts."

Those who sued were actors Anson Williams (Potsie), Marion Ross (Marion), Don Most (Ralph) and Erin Moran (Joanie), as well as widow of the late Tom Bosley (Howard), Patricia Bosley. Ron Howard (Richie) and Henry Winkler (Fonzie), however, were not involved in the lawsuit.

Back in 2002, Moran contacted Paramount Pictures, the studio which produced the 1970s TV series, to ask if she was owed money for merchandising, but was told none was owed. Later, after she learned that the "Happy Days" characters were used on slot machines, she and other former cast members filed the lawsuit in 2011.

While CBS and Pfeiffer didn't detail the settlement, a source said each of the five cast members would get about $65,000 in the settlement and would continue to get some future royalties. The case originally sought $10 million for breach of contract.

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