Bam Jackass Lawsuit – A Contract Attorney’s Perspective
Over the past two decades, the Jackass franchise has seen wild success in the box offices around the globe, with a loyal following of fans. The franchise has multiple films bearing its namesake, with many spin offs and other related works. Beginning as a TV show for three seasons on MTV from 2000 to 2002, it transformed into a feature film. After the release of Jackass: The Movie in October of 2002, the franchise went on to produce many successful sequels as well as other works such as Bad Grandpa and additional television shows such as Jackass Shark Week.
Their most recent production, Jackass Forever, has created considerable controversy over the past year due to the termination of Bam Margera as part of the Jackass crew and his permanent exclusion from the franchise. This stems from Bam’s serious substance abuse issues leading to an intervention on the part of MTV/Paramount pictures, requiring his sobriety as a condition of continued employment in the franchise. Bam’s termination was a result of his failing to pass a drug test, which was a condition of his wellness agreement and employment contract.
There is now a legal battle taking place regarding the validity of the wellness agreement, with Bam claiming he was browbeaten into signing it by the franchises executive producers Johnny Knoxville, Spike Jonze and Jeffery Termaine. Margera filed a lawsuit against Paramount, MTV and other companies and individuals involved in the production of the film. The suit likens the treatment endured by Margera to that experienced by Britney Spears in her ongoing conservatorship battle, in that he has been victimized due to his mental health struggles.
Legal Considerations Involving Contracts
As part of the larger realm of contract law, employment contracts are particularly complex in the way that they are configured, as well as their enforceability. As a contract law attorney with years of experience litigating employment contracts, David Di Pietro has an expert perspective regarding contract litigation matters.
The enforceability of this contract as well as its appropriateness is one of the primary complaints by Mr. Margera, as he claims that he was pressured into this contract without being able to consult with an attorney or fully understanding what was occurring. If this can be proven, it is possible that the contract’s validity can be challenged.
An interesting portion of this suit is the allegations that as a condition of his employment contract Margera was required to take a cocktail of medications prescribed by a doctor hired by Paramount. Per the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), employers are not allowed to require employees to take medication as a condition of employment. While the defendants deny this allegation, if this is proven to be true, it absolutely can be used to invalidate the contract, leaving the defendants open to further legal action and payment for damages.
Once the details have been released regarding the particulars of the contract as well as the circumstances surrounding its signing, it should be clear as to whether or not the contract will hold up in court. This unfortunate and sad turn of events for one of the original founding members of the Jackass franchise will ultimately affect employment law for years to come and will be of great interest to those working in contract law.