Court upholds $ 2 mil award to ex-‘Beverly Hillbillies’ star

The state Supreme Court let stand a $ 2 million award to a former “Beverly Hillbillies” star who sued over the movie rights to the Madonna pop hit “Like a Virgin.”

Actor Max Baer Jr., who played Jethro on the CBS comedy hit, sued Capital Cities/ABC in 1986, alleging that the firm’s executives interfered with his negotiations for the song’s movie rights.

Baer’s suit said that as he was about to cut a deal with the songwriters, ABC-TV intervened, saying it already owned the song’s movie rights.

Baer sued, saying the intervention had cost him millions.

The parties named in the original suit settled out of court, but the insurer for one of the defendants would not settle.

The jury in the original case sided with Baer, however, and awarded him $ 2 million. The decision was upheld on appeal in December, and the defendant appealed a second time, directly to the state Supreme Court. The court ruled this week that Baer’s award would stand, sending the case back to trial for a hearing on punitive damages.

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