Def Jam and its former
chairman Lyor Cohen won a victory in court yesterday, when a court threw out a
$54 million dollar damage awarded to TVT Records, over an unreleased album by
The U.S. 2nd Circuit Court
of Appeals found that TVT’s claims of unsavory business tactics, including
the charge of fraud, were without merit.
Def Jam and Cohen were accused
by TVT of unsavory business tactics, which included fraud, over Ja Rule’s
group Cash Money Click.
The group put out two singles
with TVT before Ja Rule was a Def Jam recording artist. Ja Rule was released
from his contract with TVT in 1998, when Irv Gotti created his Murder Inc. imprint
at Def Jam.
The lawsuit claimed that
Def Jam and Cohen sabotaged an album by Cash Money Click that TVT was preparing
by blocking the album’s release.
TVT was initially rewarded
$132 million in damages, with Cohen being held liable for $54 million. Def Jam
and Cohen vowed to appeal the earlier ruling.
"We are delighted but
by no means surprised by the court’s ruling, fully vindicating Mr. Cohen’s position
on this matter from day one,” Cohen’s lawyer said in a statement.
“In reversing the findings of liability, fraud and the related damages,
the court has specifically found that there was no credible evidence to support
the outrageous claims against Mr. Cohen."
TVT was awarded $126,000
for breach of contract claim which Def Jam and Cohen did not appeal.
TVT’s lawyer vowed
to appeal the decision based on the $126,000 judgment.
will appeal the reduction in the damages award,” Attorney Peter L. Haviland
said. “We were forced to bring this action in part because Mr. Cohen and
Def Jam denied the existence of a contract critical to our business. This court
has affirmed that we did have a contract and that the defendants broke it. This
is not over, and we look forward to the next round."