$23,000 Judgement Upheld For UFC 157 Piracy

Adding to this site’s archived posts addressing UFC Pay Per View piracy, reasons for judgement were released recently by the US District Court, D. Arizona, upholding a $23,000 default judgement following the commercial piracy of UFC 157.

In the recent case (Joe Hand Promotions, Inc. v. Manzo) the Defendant displayed UFC 157 at their restaurant without purchasing a commercial sub licence from the Plaintiff.  The Plaintiff sued and obtained default judgement in the sum of $23,000.  The Defendant moved to set aside the judgement but the request was denied with the Court finding their failure to reply to the lawsuit initially was ‘inexcusable’.

In upholding the $23,000 award Senior District Judge John Sedwick provided the following reasons:

Here, Manzo claims that he is legally sophisticated in that he is aware of the need to respond to a complaint from his experience with being sued in the past.[21] In fact, Manzo states that he has been sued by the same plaintiff in this case, and in the past he hired a lawyer and responded to the complaint. He tells the court that if he had “realized that [th]is action was commenced, [he] would have appeared and defended.”[22] But the record refutes this claim. Defendants’ own evidence shows that they were put on actual notice of this action when the process server left copies of the complaint with Manzo’s office manager. Further, Plaintiff’s application for a clerk’s default was served on Defendants by mail, as was its application for a default judgment. Defendants do not claim that they failed to receive these documents. Defendants fail to offer any explanation for why it took them over a year after Plaintiff’s motion for a default judgment to appear in this case. Because Defendants understood the consequences of inaction and they offer no good faith explanation for their behavior, the court must assume they acted in bad faith to delay potential liability. This culpable conduct renders their inaction inexcusable.[23]

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