Verdict vs. Stevens thrown out

Judge grants motion for new trial in breach-of-contract suit

Actress singer Connie Stevens had a $4.3 million jury verdict against her thrown out Friday when the trial judge granted a motion for a new trial.

In January, a jury found that Stevens’ former manager Norton Styne had helped develop and launch her cosmetics line Forever Spring on the Home Shopping Network and that Stevens failed to honor a verbal contract giving Styne 10% of the profits.

In granting the new trial motion, Los Angeles Superior Court judge Reginald Dunn held that the jury should have been instructed on the applicability of the Talent Agencies Act. The act requires that anyone who procures employment for an entertainer must be a licensed talent agent. Styne was not a licensed talent agent.

Litigator Patty Glaser, who took the case after the verdict, said: “This was a courageously granted motion. I think the judge should have granted a new trial and he did what was right. That’s the way the system is supposed to work. Naturally, Ms. Stevens is extremely pleased.”

Attorneys for the plaintiff could not be reached for comment, but an appeal is likely.

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