The former Happy Days cast was seeking to file a lawsuit over royalty payments from CBS and Paramount Pictures, and on Tuesday, they were given the go ahead by a judge who ok’ed the lawsuit to proceed.
CBS and Paramount were requesting that the lawsuit be thrown out, citing that the cast had already been properly paid. However, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Elizabeth Allen White denied the motion.
The Happy days cast, who are the plaintiffs in the case, include Anson Williams, Don Most, Marion Ross, Erin Moran, and Tom Bosley’s widow. They were supposed to receive anywhere from 2.5 to 5% of the net proceeds on merchandise sold in connection with the show, which included “Happy Days” DVD sales, but have not been paid anything thus far. Some of the merchandise included sales of comic books, T-shirts, scrapbooks, trading cards, games, lunch boxes, dolls, toy cars, magnets, greeting cards and DVDs where their images appear on the box covers.
In the ruling on Tuesday, Judge White stated that the “defendants have not met their initial burden of showing that plaintiffs are not entitled to merchandising royalties for the use of their likeness on DVD sets sold to consumers.”
Judge White went on to explain that the court was not going to make the decision of CBS’S claim the cast was paid, but rather it would have to be proven in a trial.
“It’s a certain sense of vindication that they ruled in our favor,” Most told CNN in a phone interview. “We feel obviously very pleased and happy with that ruling. It’s just confirmation of what we’ve been claiming all along.”
The suit was filed by the Happy Days cast members in April, and now the case is scheduled to go to trial on July 17. The show was filmed in front of a live studio audience and aired between 1974 and 1984.