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Octavia Spencer Sues Sensa Over Endorsement Gone Wrong

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By Betty Wang, JD on September 04, 2013 4:15 PM

Octavia Spencer is suing weight loss company Sensa, alleging breach of contract and breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing. "The Help" star, in a lawsuit filed on Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court, claims that she had signed a contract to endorse Sensa's product under specific conditions, including her desire to promote a healthier lifestyle through losing a moderate, but not significant or unhealthy, amount of weight, reports TheWrap.com.

Spencer had fulfilled her side of the agreement by losing the contractually required amount of weight, 20 pounds. But, according to Sensa, Spencer had breached their agreement when she added the hashtag "#spon" (for "sponsored") at the end of her tweets, reports TheWrap.com. Spencer claims she added the hashtag to comply with the new FTC guidelines for online advertising. In turn, Sensa stopped making payments in July.

Breach of Contract

A breach of contract, under contract law, occurs when two parties enter into a legal contract, and then one party fails to fulfill their end of the bargain in some way, shape, or form, thereby breaching it. This can range from a party not completing their duty by the time specified, or simply failing to perform at all.

Once the court has determined that there is indeed a breach, the injured party is entitled to remedies under the law. This may include damages (monetary compensation), specific performance (especially if the contract was for something unique, like selling a one-of-a-kind painting), cancellation, and/or restitution. In this case, Spencer is asking for damages, plus interest, and court costs.

Breach of an Implied Covenant of Good Faith

Spencer is also alleging a breach of an implied covenant of good faith. This tacit promise exists in any contract, and it obligates each party to deal fairly and honestly with one another.

In this case, Spencer is claiming that Sensa terminated their contract unfairly, based on Spencer's conscientious adding of the "#spon" tag, thus breaching the implied covenant of good faith.

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