“Dances With Wolves” Actor Kevin Costner in Dispute Over Bison Sculptures

28 Mar

The South Dakota Supreme Court recently heard arguments in a case involving actor-director Kevin Costner.  Last year artist Peggy Detmers sued Costner alleging  he breached a contract the parties had entered into for the commission of 17 bronze sculptures depicting buffalo and Native Americans.  The parties entered into the contract in 2000 under which Costner intended to display the sculptures at a South Dakota resort, The Dunbar, named after his character in the movie “Dances With Wolves.”  If the resort was not completed, the parties agreed to placement of the sculptures at a mutually agreeable location.  The resort was never built and Costner placed the sculptures near Dearwood at his Tatanka attraction.

Detmers alleged the placement of the sculptures at Tatanka was not a mutually agreeable location and therefore Costner breached their contract.  She argues that Costner should have to sell the sculptures and give her 50% of the proceeds.  Last year a circuit judge ruled the alternative placement did not constitute a breach of contract and the case is now before the South Dakota Supreme Court.

At the South Dakota Supreme Court hearing, lawyers for Costner maintained that he did not breach the contract.

“Kyle Wiese, one of two lawyers representing Costner at Monday’s hearing, noted Detmers took part in the construction and mock up process and ground breaking ceremony at Tatanka in June 2003.

“All of this conduct — taking part in the dedication ceremony and giving a speech — indicated she was agreeable to put these sculptures at this location for the long term,” Wiese said. He added that Costner said he would not have put nearly $6 million of his own money into building the Tatanka site if Detmers had not been agreeable to the location.”

The full article from The Washington Post can be found at this link.  An additional article from the Los Angeles Times can be found at this link.

To view our Firm’s Disclaimer, follow this link.
%d bloggers like this: