Singer Peggy Lee should get $2.3 million – not the $3.8 million her lawyers claimed she was owed – in her lawsuit against Walt Disney Co. over the videocassette profits from Lady and the Tramp, a judge ruled yesterday.
Last month, a jury awarded Lee damages against the company for selling tapes of the 1955 movie without her permission. Together, the awards totaled $3.8 million. But Tuesday, Los Angeles Superior Judge Stephen M. Lachs ruled that it was not correct to add them up. Lachs said lawyers for Lee and Disney had agreed before the trial that the singer would not add up her awards, but would accept the amount of the largest award, which was $2.3 million.
Disney announced Tuesday that the company would appeal the entire case. “Perhaps at some point it becomes uneconomic to go through the legal procedure, so you resolve a dispute,” said Ed Nowak, Disney vice president and counsel. “But here we’re talking about a fairly substantial amount of money.”