Flo Rida notched a major legal victory this week after jurors returned a verdict in his favor against the energy drink company Celsius, a victory that has made him a very wealthy man.
The rapper, whose legal name is Tramar Dillard, claimed the company owed him money from a prior endorsement deal he started with them in 2014, with that deal being renewed in two years later.
Rapper Awarded $82 Million In Damages Against Energy Drink That Failed To Pay Out Endorsement Deals
Jurors ultimately awarded him a total of $82,640,450 in damages, according to Law & Crime.
“By way of background, Flo Rida maintained a successful endorsement partnership with Celsius which was highly effective in opening new doors for Celsius and its products,” the plaintiffs, including Flo Rida’s company Strong Arm productions, wrote in their original complaint.
— Cathy Russon (@cathyrusson) January 18, 2023
In closing statements, Flo Rida’s attorney John Uustal said his client wanted the one-percent ownership of the company that he had been promised, and not exactly a specific dollar amount.
The initial lawsuit requested only $30,000, including interest and attorney fees. The rapper maintained his deal with Dillard helped increase the ailing company’s fortunes.
“It’s about my passion,” he said of the case, speaking to the Law&Crime Network on Tuesday after jurors did not return a verdict. “It’s about my team. It’s about my dedication. It’s about something that I started years ago and just to see it come full fledged like this–I hate for it to be this way.”
Celsius CEO Attempts To Downplay Flo Rida’s Role In Saving Ailing Energy Drink Company
On Friday (Jan. 13), the CEO of Celsius Holdings, John Fieldly, testified that his company’s growth was attributed to his team’s hard work, and not from a few seconds in a music video, the outlet reports.
Tramar Lacel Dillard, known professionally as rapper #FloRida, spoke to the Law&Crime Network after court on Tuesday about his civil lawsuit with Celsius energy drink. Verdict watch enters day two as the jury continues their deliberations Wednesday morning. pic.twitter.com/J5g1481gHR
— Law&Crime Network (@LawCrimeNetwork) January 18, 2023
However, on Wednesday jurors ultimately found that Celsius had not only breached their agreements with the rapper, but to make matters worse, also fraudulently kept hit hidden from him.
Celsius had initially attempted to dismiss the original complaint against them, claiming the statute of limitations had ran out. They also said they had already paid Flo Rida “far in excess of what he is entitled to,” and said the rapper should have file the lawsuit sooner.
The energy drink company even went on to file a countersuit requesting that money be returned back to Celsius.
Energy Drink Co. Countersues Flo Rida, Claiming Statute Of Limitations In Lawsuit Filed Against Them
“The first agreement was executed in March of 2014, and Plaintiffs made no pursuit of the allegations herein until seven years later,” they said.
The flavor of your dreams is here, Fantasy Vibe 🍊☁️ Double tap if you can't wait to try it! pic.twitter.com/cXjHbEeTKz
— CELSIUS Energy Drink (@CelsiusOfficial) January 11, 2023
Flo Rida entering court on day 1. He is suing Celsius Energy Drink (see the drinks on the table) in a 2014 endorsement deal. He's asking for at least $30K, interest, attorney fees and costs. @official_flo @CelsiusOfficial https://t.co/sHtytG81Gp pic.twitter.com/Si06NA0IqU
— Cathy Russon (@cathyrusson) January 11, 2023
That agreement formally ended in March 2016, which Celsius’ legal team attempted to highlight, claiming “it took over five years” for Flo Rida to “take material action” when he “should have.”
“For over five years the Plaintiffs failed to take material action when Plaintiffs should have,” they said.
On Wednesday, the jury determined that the defense (Celsius) failed to show the plaintiffs (Flo Rida) waived their right to seek more compensation.