Patterson Palmer

Patterson Palmer

May 11, 2005 16:12 ET

Court of Appeal Upholds Ground-breaking Ruling in Don Messer Lawsuit

Attention: Arts/Entertainment Editor HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA--(CCNMatthews - May 11, 2005) - The Court of Appeal issued its decision today in the ongoing litigation relating to Don Messer's Estate.

The Estate had commenced an action against Barbara Martin and Grayec Management Ltd. in February 2004 to stop them from continuing to use the name and likeness of Don Messer in promoting their musical performances in Canada. In November 2004, the Estate won a ground-breaking ruling obtaining an interlocutory injunction against Ms. Martin and Grayec until the matter can be heard at trial. This was a first in Canada because the decision concurrently declared that an estate is deemed to own and control a "right of personality" in a celebrity. This has previously only been granted in cases involving living persons (e.g. the Calgary courts in 2003 granted an injunction to protect the skaters Sale and Pelletier).

Ms. Martin and Grayec appealed this Order to a higher court, the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal, in an effort to have the injunction lifted. The Court of Appeal, in upholding all aspects of the injunction, stated that they had not been persuaded to intervene with the decision. The Court of Appeal further stated that not only would the injunction continue to restrict the use of the name in promoting their performances but further confirmed that they were restrained from using the name and likeness of Don Messer "in any publicity of any kind". The injunction will remain in place until trial.
/For further information: Carolyn Townsend, Regional Marketing Director (902)444-8427
www.pattersonpalmer.ca/ IN: ENTERTAINMENT, JUSTICE, MEDIA

Contact Information

  • Lyle (Chip) Sutherland, Partner, Patterson Palmer
    Primary Phone: 902-444-8468
    Secondary Phone: 902-492-2000
    Toll-Free: 888-699-7746
    E-mail: lsutherland@pattersonpalmer.ca