Lady Gaga Sued for Not Paying $500,000.00 to Dog Thief Accomplice
California is widely considered top ten in almost every category. This includes consistently topping the list for being one of the most litigious states in our nation.
Yes. In California you could be sued for just about anything. Remember the movie Liar Liar starring Jim Carrey? If you are like me, it is one of my all-time personal favorites and the exchange between Fletcher (Jim Carrey) and his legal assistant Greta (played by wonderful Anne Haney) is sometimes comically accurate of our legal system:
Greta: A couple years ago my friend had a burglar on her roof, a burglar. He fell through the kitchen skylight, landed on a butcher’s knife cutting his leg. The burglar sued my friend, he sued my friend. And because of guys like you HE WON. My friend had to pay the burglar $6,000. Is that justice?
Fletcher: No. I’d’a’ got him ten.
Here, we have a not so unsimilar situation where Lady Gaga is being sued for the $500,000.00 reward she promised for the return of her French Bulldogs- by the alleged accomplice to the underlying dog thief and attempted murder of Lady Gaga’s dog walker.
Amazingly, the alleged accomplice, Jennifer McBride, is suing in Los Angeles County Superior Court for breach of contract and fraud alleging that Lady Gaga never paid the $500,000.00 reward which was offered at “no questions asked.” In the complaint, she argues that reward was offered at “no questions asked,” and Lady Gaga failed to pay. She is also asking for punitive damages.
Back in December 2022, McBride pled no contest to one count of receiving stolen property and received a two-year probation sentence. Unfortunately, pleas of no contest are generally not admissible in a civil matter; however, she will not be able to navigate through the discovery process without getting slammed with this inconvenient truth.
Among the many defenses Lady Gaga will have at her disposal, one of the biggest we see is the doctrine of unclean hands. In General, one who comes into equity must come with clean hands. A court will neither aid in the commission of a fraud by enforcing a contract, nor relieve one of two parties to a fraud from its consequences, where both are in pari delicto (Latin for in equal fault). Unconscientious conduct in the transaction may give rise to the defense.
Unlike Greta’s friend in Liar Liar, we believe the outcome in Lady Gaga’s matter is going to much different. If somehow this matter survives a motion for summary judgment based on the unclean hands defense and many others, we do not see a judge or jury looking very favorably toward McBride.
We hear at Grismer|Patterson, LLP are a full service law firm. We prosecute and defend all types of Trust Litigation and Civil Litigation matters ranging from Personal Injury, Breach of Contract, Business Disputes, Trust and Will Contests, etc. If you want us to evaluate your case, contact our office and set up a free consultation.