Jerry Seinfeld Case
From “Yada yada: She wants her money. Jerry faces real estate suit,” by Helen Peterson of the New York Daily News, April 30, 2005.
A lawsuit filed in Manhattan Supreme Court claims that Jerry Seinfeld and his wife illegally deprived real estate broker, Tamara Cohen, out of a $117,000 commission. The broker claimed she spent months showing properties to a Seinfeld representative, including a property that Seinfeld bought for $3.9 million. Seinfeld and his wife offered tocompensate Cohen for her time, but much less than her regular commission. According to news sources, Seinfeld and his wife wanted to see the property, but when they tried to contact Cohen over several days, they couldn’t reach her. They went to see the property without her and made a deal with the owners. Cohen claims she could not contact the Seinfelds for religious reasons, because it was the Sabbath and she is an observant Jew. The lawsuit accused Seinfeld of breach of contract and fraud.
1. If the realtor originally showed the property to Seinfeld’s representative, is she entitled to the commission?
2. Did the realtor live up to her contractual obligations to the Seinfelds? Why or Why not?
3. On what basis could there be a claim of fraud against the Seinfelds?
4. Does religious observance provide an excuse for the realtor to be unavailable? Explain
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