What can I do if I was hired as a cinematographer by a woman who said who was producing a feature film but it was never completed and now she won’t pay me?

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What can I do if I was hired as a cinematographer by a woman who said who was producing a feature film but it was never completed and now she won’t pay me?

I gave her quotation of for 20 days as she claimed that shooting will be completed by then. However, her co-actor backed out and she started to looking for other actors. She did not halted the shoot, she called us daily for planning and working on schedule and stuff like that. Then finally she found an actor almost at the end of 20 days. We extended the shoot for 15 more days and renegotiated the amount for additional days. However, actor backed on after few days of shoot. Now she is refusing to pay me saying I did not complete the movie, I did not worked everyday, and so on. Can I sue her?

Asked on June 17, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, Texas

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

You do have the potential to sue her under two theories.... the first is breach of contract and the second is quantum merit.  Quantum merit means that even if you didn't have a contract, she still induced you to perform a service, received the benefits of the service, and is now refusing to pay for those services.  To insure that you can present evidence of both theories properly, you would need to hire an attorney that routinely handles contract law.


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