Judge rules against Aspen company in chairlift ad suit
ASPEN A two-year-old legal battle between two businesses regarding advertisements on ski chairlifts ended with a roughly $410,000 judgment against an Aspen company that originally filed the lawsuit.U.S. District Court Judge Wiley Y. Daniel determined in an 18-page ruling the plaintiff in the case, Ripple Resort Media Inc., of Aspen, erred when it terminated a business contract with defendant, SkiView Corp. of New Jersey.As a result, SkiView was awarded a damage amount of $409,640. Daniels wrote in his ruling the sum was a reasonable calculation of lost profits suffered by SkiView as a result of Ripple’s breach of the agreement.Brand Connections LLC, a New York City-based marketing and media company that acquired SkiView more than two years ago, declined to comment.Matthew Jay, president of Ripple Resort, could not be reached for comment. The Aspen law firm that filed the breach-of-contract suit in September 2006 Oates, Knezevich & Gardenswartz P.C. also could not be reached for comment.The legal dustup stemmed from a three-year agreement Ripple Resort and SkiView entered into May 31, 2005, according to court documents. Under the agreement, SkiView would be the exclusive seller of Maplinks advertising space (Ripple retained the right to sell advertising space) for the term of the agreement so long as SkiView continued to make the minimum annual purchases, Daniel wrote in his ruling.Jay owns the patent on the so-called Maplinks product, which are devices attached to safety bars of ski chairlifts.The three-year deal guaranteed Ripple Resort minimum payments of $103,563 in ad space for 333 chairs plus production costs in 2005; $207,126 for 666 chairs plus production costs in 2006; and $310,689 for 999 chairs plus production costs in 2007, court records showed.However, Ripple Resort claimed SkiView was in default of the agreement in the first quarter of 2006, saying it was owed $150,000 as of Jan. 24. That was also the same date Ripple Resort issued a notice of default to SkiView via e-mail, Daniel wrote in his ruling.Less than five months later, on June 8, Ripple Resort terminated the agreement with SkiView by letter, Daniel wrote. At the time, Ripple Resort claimed SkiView had not made the required payment within a 60-day cure period under the agreement. Daniel determined otherwise based on the testimony of witnesses and other factors.Ripple stated in that letter that the basis for terminating the agreement was that SkiView had not made the required payments within sixty days after receipt of the January 24, 2006 notice of default.I find that SkiView had cured any default alleged in the January 24, 2006 e-mail by paying Ripple the monies claimed owed in that e-mail within the sixty day cure period under the agreement.That led Daniel to conclude SkiView was not in material breach of the agreement for failure to make timely email@example.com
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