Reasons for judgement were released this week by the US District Court, E.D. California, awarding $60,000 in damages plus lawyer fees and costs following UFC PPV piracy.
In this week’s case (Joe Hand Promotions, Inc. v. Fierro) the Defendant, who operated a bar and grill, was sued after showing UFC 156 in his establishment without purchasing licencing rights to do so. The Defendant failed to respond to the lawsuit and default judgement was obtained. In awarding $60,000 in damages the court noted the Defendant was a repeat violator and the greater than penalty was levied. Judge Delaney provided the following reasons:
After determining that entry of default judgment is warranted, the court must next determine the terms of the judgment. By its motion for default judgment, plaintiff seeks a judgment in the total amount of $61,995.00. That sum consists of $60,000 for the violation of Title 47, $1,500 in attorney’s fees and $495.00 in costs. Upon consideration of all of plaintiff’s briefing, the undersigned will recommend that damages be awarded in the amount requested.
The affidavit of the investigator, John Lacher, establishes that defendant broadcast the program to the bar patrons, that there were seven screens in the establishment on which the Program was displayed (with screen size of approximately 32 inches), that the capacity of the bar was 75 people and that at the time of the broadcast, headcounts were taken three different times showing 20, 30, and 42 patrons. There is evidence in the record that defendant is a repeat violator. The court takes judicial notice of other actions venued in this District in which default judgment has been entered against defendant Fierro for engaging in the same conduct as alleged in the instant action. See J&J Sports Productions, Inc. v. Fierro, 2:11-cv-3006 MCE JFM (E.D. Cal.), ECF No. 14 (default judgment entered in the amount of $7,500); Joe Hand Promotions, Inc. v. Fierro, 2:11-cv-2263 JAM CMK (E.D. Cal.), ECF No. 13 (default judgment entered in the amount of $26,200). Under these circumstances, the court finds enhanced statutory damages should be awarded in the amount of $50,000 as requested by plaintiff. The amount of attorney’s fees and costs claimed by plaintiff are reasonable and supported by counsel’s affidavit.