HBO has suffered another loss in its goal to avoid arbitration with Michael Jackson’s estate in the $100 million ‘Leaving Neverland’ dispute after an appeal court on Monday granted the Jackson estate’s appeal to allow for arbitration.
The 9th Circuit U.S Court of Appeals has reaffirmed that the estate’s lawsuit against Leaving Neverland may move forward. The estate is suing, arguing that the Emmy winning documentary goes against a 1992 non-disparagement clause in a contract between HBO and Jackson.
“An arbitration clause can still bind the parties, even if the parties fully performed the contract years ago,” wrote the trio of judges on Monday, reaffirming a lower court decision of September 2019.
“HBO does not dispute the existence of a valid agreement, the included arbitration provision, or the incorporated confidentiality provision, but rather the ‘continuing validity’ of the agreement and the arbitration provision,” the appeal court added in the decision. “Thus, a valid arbitration agreement exists.”
HBO maintains that the 27-year-old clause from the 1992 concert film is irrelevant to the present dispute.