Chicago Coliseum v. Dempsey Case Brief by Mythri

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									Chicago Coliseum v. Dempsey 265 Ill.App. 542 (Ill.App. 1 Dist. 1932)
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Jack Dempsey the boxer was hired to promote boxing in Chicago and fight Harry Wills. Dempsey was to receive $300k on Aug 5th, $500k 10 days before the fight in September, and 50% of the profits above $2M (plus a % of concessions and merch). o Dempsey also had to get a physical for insurance purposes and not fight anyone else before the Wills fight. Chicago Coliseum had already entered into a contract with Wills to fight Dempsey for $50k. However, they never paid Wills the money. They also entered a contract with Weisberg to help promote the fight, for expenses and a % of profits. In July, Chicago Coliseum wrote to Dempsey to schedule the physical Dempsey replied that he was, "far to busy training for his fight with Tunney and there was no contract between himself and Chicago Coliseum." On Aug 3rd, Chicago Coliseum sued and filed in Indiana asking to have Demsey "restrained" from his fight with Tunney. They claimed to have a reliance interest. o They sued in Indiana not Illinois because of civil procedure issues. (Dempsey was in Indiana and needed service of process) Indiana Trial Court found that the contract was valid. They issued a decree that Dempsey be perpetually restrained from participating in any contracts in furtherance of a professional boxing match. Dempsey appealed. The Indiana Appellate Court reversed the decision. Indiana Appellate Court found that damages should consist of four categories: o Loss of Profits  Chicago Coliseum argued that they would have made $1.6M on the fight. Court found that any number would be purely speculative. In fact, there was a reasonable chance that the Chicago Coliseum would have lost money.

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Expenses prior to the contract  Chicago Coliseum argued that the contract with Wills was recoverable, even though the general rule is that you can only recover for damages that result from the contract, not precede it. Court found that anything Chicago Coliseum did prior to the Dempsey contract was not Dempsey's fault (plus they never paid Wills anyway) o Expenses incurred attempting to restrain the defendant  Court found that this was effectively "attorney's fees", which are not recoverable. o Expenses after the contract signing but before the breach  Chicago Coliseum argued that the work of Weisberg in promoting the fight amounted to an expense. The Court found that since Weisberg was only working for a % of the profits, and hadn't been paid yet, there were no expenses to be recovered. o Indiana Appellate Court did find that there were some incidental damages, such as secretaries' salaries and consultation with an architect to build the ring. Regular salaries paid to employees of Chicago Coliseum are not recoverable as they count as overhead. Courts will never order specific performance to force a person like Dempsey to fight (no specific performance in personal services contracts). But notice that in this case they ordered an injunction to stop him from working for anybody else.

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