'Miami Vice' Star Wins $2.3M Award Vs. DM Firm

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The American Arbitration Association awarded former "Miami Vice" star Philip Michael Thomas $2.3 million yesterday in his case against online direct marketing and database management company Traffix, Pearl River, NY.

Thomas said he was owed more than $12 million resulting from a 1994 agreement in which Quintel, a predecessor company to Traffix, was permitted to use Thomas' likeness in connection with certain programs and membership clubs and "pursuant" to which Thomas made certain infomercials. In accordance with the award, Traffix must pay Thomas $1.48 million plus interest totaling $785,000.

"We were quite surprised by the decision of the AAA," said Traffic chairman/CEO Jeffrey Schwartz in a statement. "It is still our belief that we had previously paid Mr. Thomas all amounts that he was entitled to under our agreement with him. "Unfortunately, the arbitrator did not see it the same way. From a business perspective, it at least feels good to get this matter behind us. It relates to a business we exited many years ago, and of course the litigation has been a distraction to management."

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