Court 'suspends effect' of exclusive contracts for the five remaining members of LOONA
All members of the group LOONA are now able to leave their agency, Blockberry Creative.
Unlike in the first trial, the Seoul High Court's 5th Civil Cases Division (Head judges Seol Bumsik, Lee Joonyoung, Choi Sungbo) ruled in favor of the plaintiff today (16th) in an appeal filed by five remaining members of LOONA (Haseul, Yeojin, Yves, Olivia Hye, and Go Won) against the company.
The court determined, “The effect of each exclusive contract is suspended until the date of an initial primary ruling on the lawsuit to void the exclusive contracts”, and that “The company may not negotiate or sign contracts related to entertainment activities with a third party that goes against the wishes of the members, and may not demand or interfere with the entertainment activities of the members.”
The court explained its reasoning that “As the basic relationship of trust between company and members has already collapsed, it is deemed difficult for a normal exclusive relationship to sustain,” and “As it is expected that the independent entertainment activities of the members will be greatly restricted for the remainder of the contract period, even beyond the simple economic element, there are concerns about serious violations of basic constitutional rights such as the freedom to select one’s profession.”
As a condition of the suspension, the court instructed the members to deposit 50 million won in cash as collateral to the company, or to instead submit a surety insurance that guarantees payment.
Earlier in January, the first trial ruled in favor of four members and against five others for an injunction filed by nine members of LOONA against the company.
For the five members who lost, the reason was because they had signed auxiliary contracts 1~2 years ago that changed some conditions to be more in their favor, and as such, the contracts were not deemed to be unjust enough to suspend their effects.