Court rules against Rocket Center in cartoon series dispute
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The Alabama Supreme Court has ruled against the U.S. Space and Rocket Center’s efforts to overturn a $1.3 million arbitration award granted to the developers of an animated series.
Justices on Thursday directed an Alabama court to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the Alabama Space Science Exhibit Commission, which operates the Space and Rocket Center, challenging the award on immunity grounds. Justices said the issue had already been litigated in New York.
“The United States Constitution requires courts in Alabama to give full faith and credit to the judicial proceedings of every other state... It is clear that the jurisdictional issue was indeed fully and fairly litigated in the New York trial court,” Justice Will Sellers wrote in the opinion.
The ruling stemmed from a contract dispute between the Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville and a company named Space Race that had been hired to produce an animated series aimed at promoting the interest of children in space exploration and science.
Space Race claimed it was owed $1.3 million when the contract expired for the work it had completed ahead of schedule.
According to the court ruling, the Alabama space center argued NASA had ended a grant for the project so it was no longer required under the contract to pay Space Race. However, Space Race argued the grant ended because the Space and Rocket Center “in bad faith, had failed to provide NASA with documentation required to continue funding the project,”
Arbitrators ruled in favor of Space Race. The ruling was upheld by New York courts.