Steven Dyki Wins Summary Judgment Dismissing Breach of Contract Case Against Professional Singer and Court Schedules Hearing on Issue of Sanctions Against Plaintiff in Suffolk County

March 29, 2016

On March 25, 2016, Steven Dyki won summary judgment dismissing the plaintiff’s complaint in its entirety against defendant Collette McLafferty in the case of Bonfante v. Nevone, Index No.: 62953/2014 (Sup. Ct. Suffolk County), and the Court scheduled a hearing on the issue of sanctions against the plaintiff for commencing and maintaining a frivolous action.  The plaintiff, a professional musician and attorney, claims that in the summer of 2012, he formulated the idea of starting a tribute band based upon the music and theatrics of the artist known as “Pink.”  Sometime thereafter, he shared his plans with defendant Richard Nevone.  The plaintiff claims that he entered into a contract with Nevone wherein they were to both participate in the band and share equally in the profits.  In return, Nevone was to perform certain necessary tasks.  The plaintiff claims that Nevone breached the contract by revealing the plans for the band to other sand forming his own “Pink” tribute band with defendants Collette McLafferty and John Rodriguez.  The plaintiff filed a complaint containing 112 pages, 562 paragraphs and 42 causes of action against the defendants.  The uncontroverted evidence established that McLafferty was hired by Nevone as an independent contract singer and was to be paid $75 per rehearsal and $100 per show; McLafferty had no role in naming the band, obtaining a venue or entering into any contracts; McLafferty sang in approximately 12 rehearsals and one performance; and gave up the opportunity to sing in the band once the lawsuit was filed by the plaintiff.  The Court granted the motion for summary judgment and dismissed all of the plaintiff’s claims against McLafferty, including the claims for breach of contract, tortious interference with contract, unjust enrichment, unfair competition, trademark infringement, and deceptive trade practices.  The Court also ordered that all parties appear for the purpose of scheduling a hearing on the issue of whether sanctions should be imposed upon the plaintiff and to provide notice of the issues raised by the plaintiff’s conduct in the case.

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