The former manager of the stars of the reality TV show “Pawn Stars” is accusing the men of firing him in order to cut him out of his share of the profits. He has filed a breach of contract lawsuit in Nevada state court against the four men who run the Las Vegas pawn shop that is at the center of the show, as well as the network that airs the series.
“Pawn Stars” first went on the air in July 2009 on the History Channel. Fans of the show follow the dealings of the store’s owners and employees as people bring in their treasures to sell, hoping to get a good price. The show quickly became a hit, and has led to a boom in business as tourists line up to get a glimpse of the store.
The plaintiff says that the success was due to his efforts. The defendants, who include three generations of a family and a family friend, hired the plaintiff to act as a consultant and manager to pitch their reality show idea to TV networks. Once the show was sold to the History Channel, the plaintiff says, the defendants agreed to hire him as their agent. His lawsuit filing included emails in which he was representing the men in dealings with the network.
According to the lawsuit, the defendants owed him payment of fees and a share of merchandising profits when they fired him in January. The reason for the termination is not clear; an attorney for the defendants declined to comment. The History Channel and its parent company, A&E Television Networks, which are also defendants in the suit, also have not commented.
One potential complication to the plaintiff’s litigation is that there apparently was never any written employment contracts between him and the defendants. His lawsuit refers to oral contracts agreed upon in May and June 2009. While oral contracts are generally legally enforceable, proving an oral contract exists is usually tougher than a written contract.
Source: CBS News, “‘Pawn Stars’ sued by former manager in Las Vegas,” Oct. 8, 2012
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