It’s the kind of irony a fiction writer couldn’t invent – the co-authors of a book on bullying in the workplace now find themselves accusing each other of plagiarism, breach of contract – and bullying too.
Well-known American writer Barbara Coloroso is one of the parties in question, Canadian former businessman Andrew Faas the other. Ms Coloroso is a bullying “expert” and Mr. Faas had the business background to fill in her knowledge. They signed a book deal with prestigious publisher HarperCollins three years ago.
Judging from the statements of claim they’ve both filed, it all goes downhill from there. The manuscript remains unfinished and the two have become involved in an increasingly nasty dispute.
- Faas is suing Coloroso for $1.1 million, claiming she missed the deadline in finishing her part of the book and that she unilaterally terminated the contract with the publisher
- Her countersuit for $1.5 million claims Faas committed “blatant acts of plagiarism and copyright infringement”
They are both suing for breach of contract.
Breach of Contract Between Partners
When it comes to breach of contract as it relates to work issues, we most often think of it as involving a kind of employer/employee relationship. However, a breach of contract can certainly also occur between two partners in a creative or business venture as in this case.
When you set up a partnership for the purposes of a work or creative project, a business or business transaction, there are specific duties and responsibilities assigned to each partner. In the case of a corporation, those duties may be implied by the individual’s title (i.e. Chief Financial Officer, President and so on,) but in other cases, like this one, the parameters may be much looser and less obvious.
The salient points will revolve around the exact terms of their agreement and therefore what constitutes a breach:
- Were the deadlines inflexible?
- What did their agreement specify re: termination of contract?
- What if any terms or standards were outlined as far as the writing itself?
A contract is your assurance of the ground rules involved in any kind of agreement. It’s important to know your rights and obligations and to make sure the other party or parties upholds their end of the deal too.
When a business deal goes south, you’ll need the help of experienced breach of contract lawyers. Clarity on the issues covered by a contract is your key to understanding your rights.
You only have a limited time to take action. If you think your rights under a contractual agreement are being disregarded contact Petrillo Law today or call us (905) 949-9433 for a free consultation with an experienced contract lawyer. We look forward to hearing from you.