These days, entertainment companies make enormous investments in the talented individuals that they employ or work with. A record company, for example, may spend millions and even tens of millions of dollars in global promotion for its recording artists. They do this in the hope that they will “recoup” all that investment, and much more, once the artist becomes a worldwide celebrity and his name automatically leads to success for his projects.

But what happens if, despite all the security and protection that the record company provides to its artist, there is a serious traffic accident involving the artist, or she falls off a stage or takes a few too many prescription or other drugs (think Amy Winehouse), leading to a medical emergency that can’t wait for the “911” attendants? While the human cost of such an event is obviously of primary concern, the company’s lawyers must also consider the potential economic impact on the company of having its valuable artist suffer permanent damage that may lead to the end of her career (and at least some of her revenue streams). What can the company do, even before it places the call to Aronfeld Trial Lawyers for advice on legal liability?

The recording agreements that ChaseLawyers℠ prepares for its record-label clients contain several clauses to help the company (and the artist) cope with this situation.

Contract Clauses to Help Record Labels When Their Talent Gets Injured

  1. First, our agreements explicitly provide that the company can, at its own expense, take out its own insurance policies (life, health, accident, etc.) on the artist; and it requires the artist to submit to a confidential physical examination as necessary to secure the insurance. In this way, the company can protect at least part of its dollar investment in the tragic circumstance that the artist is so grievously injured that he can no longer perform.
  2. Second, it requires the artist to refrain from any activity (think sky-diving or motorcycle racing) that might make it impossible for the company to obtain insurance in the first place or defeat the company’s recovery under an insurance policy that it has already obtained.
  3. Finally, we include a provision authorizing the company, in an emergency situation where there is no direction from the artist’s medical proxy, to apply its own “reasonable business and humanitarian judgment” to the treatment of the artist. If the artist-designated medical proxy is not available, such as where the incident occurs before a concert in a foreign country, this authorization can mean the difference between an unfortunate delay in the artist’s schedule and the end of his musical career.

Though there is inevitably something distasteful about such seemingly “cold” legal and economic considerations when a serious health emergency occurs, contractual provisions like these can rescue the situation and work to the benefit of the company, the artist, and the audience which has come to love and depend upon the artist’s talents.

Barry Chase is the founder of a leading entertainment law firm serving Miami, New York and the District of Columbia. He can be reached for an initial consultation via phone 305-373-7665 or through his website

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