“Reward.” How Far Does it Really Go?

In 2021, Lady Gaga’s dogwalker was robbed at gunpoint, and two of her purebred French Bulldogs were stolen. Lady Gaga advertised a $500,000 reward upon the return of her dogs, “no questions asked.” The lady who returned the dogs, Jennifer McBride, is suing the popstar for not delivering on her promise of the reward. McBride was later charged in connection to the theft with receiving stolen property and being an accessory to the crime. She allegedly dated the father of one of the men responsible for assaulting Gaga’s dog walker, Ryan Fischer. McBride received two years of probation as a result of her part in the crime.

At the time of the shooting, Lady Gaga offered a $500,000 reward for the dogs’ safe return. “My beloved dogs Koji and Gustav were taken in Hollywood two nights ago,’ Gaga wrote. “My heart is sick and I am praying my family will be whole again with an act of kindness. I will pay $500,000 for their safe return.” According to a complaint filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, “the unilateral offer to pay the reward of $500,000 ‘no questions asked’ was communicated to the public through numerous news outlets.” The complaint continued, “the Plaintiff relied on Defendants’ unilateral oral offer, communicated through numerous news outlets.” The plaintiff alleges that by contacting defendants and delivering Lady Gaga’s bulldogs to defendants at a Los Angeles police station that McBride accepted the defendants’ unilateral offer.

Rewards are usually considered “unilateral contracts” in which the only way an offer can be accepted is through performance—such as returning the stolen dogs in exchange for money.

McBride, the complaint says, has “fully performed her obligation under the unilateral contract” and is entitled to the $500,000 reward. McBride also alleges fraud on the part of Lady Gaga and her team, particularly as to the “no questions asked” part of the reward offer. “The truth was that Defendants intended to have its agents and/or law enforcement to ask questions of Plaintiff regarding the circumstances surrounding Plaintiff’s return of Lady Gaga’s French bulldogs, Koji and Gustav,” the complaint says. “Additionally, Defendants[‘] representation that they would pay the reward money of $500,000 ‘no questions asked’ was also false. The truth was that Defendants never intended to pay the reward money to Plaintiff.”

The complaint further alleges that McBride “acted in justifiable reliance upon the truth of Defendants[‘] representations.” Per TMZ, McBride is not only seeking the $500,000 reward, but damages of $1.5 million from Gaga for allegedly posting the misleading reward. According to the lawsuit, McBride has suffered “pain and suffering, mental anguish, and loss of enjoyment of life.”

Unilateral Contracts in Mississippi

            People enter into contracts every day, whether it something as small as buying a pack of gum or something like selling a hospital. It is important to know the elements of a contract, so that you make sure a valid agreement exists between two or more parties. A contract is a binding promise between two competent parties that is enforceable by law. To be a valid contract, the promise must include an exchange of something of value between the parties. Money is often part of the exchange, but not necessarily. Most important to McBride’s case is the fact that the exchange cannot involve anything illegal.

The two basic parts of a contract is the offer and the acceptance. One party makes an offer to another party, who may or may not choose to accept. A valid offer includes the name of the accepting party, the subject of the offer, a quantity, and a price. If the other party agrees to the offer, acceptance occurs and a contract is made. That acceptance can be made in writing or stated orally. Acceptance can also occur through action. A condition is something that must occur for the contract to be fulfilled. Contracts can range from being simple to complex, negotiated agreements. If you are in a situation where you are negotiating a more complex contract, calling an attorney might be the right thing for you to do. Further, if you have entered into a contract and you feel like the other party has breached, legal action may be the only remedy to your solution. If anyone is accusing you of breaching a contract, it is always best to have a good lawyer defend you.

Finding an Attorney

If you have been searching the Mississippi area for a qualified, experienced attorney, look no further than Vic Carmody Jr., P.A. Over the years, we have helped numerous offenders pursue favorable outcomes. Call/contact us today for your free consultation to learn more.

Please also see us on mississippi-lawyers.com and view our reviews on avvo.com, superlawyers.com, and martindale.com. Our email address is mississippi-lawyers.com and our office phone number is (601) 948 – 4444 option 1.

Contact Information