Flo Rida has won an $82 million verdict against energy giant Celsius whom he sued for breach of contract, damages, and monies owing under a celebrity endorsement deal.
The trial was by jury and took place for five days which saw the rapper sharing details about Celcius offending behavior as it refused to honor the terms of their agreement. Flo Rida had sued for $30,000 in damages and unspecified sums for the stock options, which he said he was denied by Celcius despite meeting his obligations under the contracts; and unpaid royalties. The lawsuit covered two endorsement agreements between Flo and Celcius, stemming from 2014 and another in 2016.
The rapper’s attorneys confirmed that he was pleased with the outcome of the case and shared his confidence that the justice system “performed well today.” He was represented by attorneys John Uustal and Cristina Pierson from the law firm Kelley Uustal. Uustal told Billboard that the rapper had taken on the company as a matter of principle.
“It was a matter of respect. He was due these shares, he worked for them, and he wasn’t going to just let it go,” Uustal said.
There are reports that Celcius plans to appeal the judgment. During the case, the rapper’s legal team detailed to jurors that he was entitled to a one (1) percent stake in Celcius per the agreements, which specified the option would come into effect if he met certain sales targets. Those were exceeded. The stake, his lawyers say, is valued at least $75 million.
Celcius, however, pushed back that the rapper had not met the sales targets and that the company owes him nothing as he has been paid “far in excess” of what the company owes him.
“A business deal is a business deal. You don’t get a do-over just because you’re unhappy with the results,” Celcius’s attorneys said as they accused the rapper of capitalizing on a payout that he doesn’t deserve.
Flo Rida’s attorneys said Celcius tried to paint him as greedy, but the jurors were able to understand the legal issues even though they were complicated.
“In our view, [the jury] came to the right conclusion,” Uustal said. “After our client finished testifying, there was no doubt that this was not a greedy individual.”