NY court rules Modi case on ESS admissable; 1st hearing 26 Jan

MUMBAI: One thing you have to give to Modi Enterprises - they set great store by the judiciary in dealing with distribution disputes.

Modi, which had filed a case against ESPN Inc and ESPN India for breach of contract and fiduciary duties in a New York Court has crossed the first hurdle following the order given by Judge Gammerman on 16 January allowing the case to proceed. ESPN had sought the dismissal of the case made against the sports broadcaster.


It's been a long and winding road for the Modis in this case which is a fallout of ESPN's decision to terminate its distribution deal with the company in 1999.

A statement issued by Modis quotes Judge Gammerman as ruling:

v All excepting one small claim of the Modis is within time and not barred by the Indian Law of Limitation.

v New York Law would be applied whilst adjudicating on the breach of contract claims and the tort claims.

v In India, the Supreme Court of India would have recognized all claims made in the action.

v Punitive damages would be awardable in this action.

The Judge has also ruled that punitive damages may be allowed especially in view of the evidence supporting the conclusion that ESPN intentionally and fraudulently misused their contractual audit rights to force MEN to divulge their confidential information and thereafter used such information wrongly. 

The case comes up for its first hearing on 26 January, industry sources say.

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