The “Big Man’s” Trust Dispute

The famed saxophonist of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band died in 2011 from a stroke.  Clemons, oftentimes called the “Big Man”, established a trust to control his assets when he died.  Specifically, the trust required that the rights to his name and likeness be managed by the trust until his youngest son, Jarod, reached age 25, which occurred in 2023.  However, as early as 2017, Clemons’s sons Nick and Charles violated these terms by establishing Big Man’s West, LLC to sell a beer called “Big Man’s Brew” and later, in 2020, to sell cannabis products under the name “Big Man’s Blazed Goods.”

The trustees of the trust sued Nick, Charles, and Big Man’s West, LLC.  The defendants ignored the suit and the court granted an injunction enjoining defendants from using Clemons’s name and likeness.  The trustees asserted that these continuing violations warranted the defendants being held in contempt and the imposition of sanctions.  The trustees requested a per diem fine for the continued noncompliance and reasonable attorneys’ fees.  The court agreed and awarded both penalties.