Cunningham asserts that his contract was not assignable. Was the contract assignable? Explain.

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Cunningham asserts that his contract was not assignable. Was the contract assignable? Explain.

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While under contract to play professional basketball for the Philadelphia 76ers, Billy Cunningham, an outstanding player, negotiated a three-year contract with the Carolina Cougars, another professional basketball team. The contract with the Cougars was to begin at the expiration of the contract with the 76ers. In addition to a signing bonus of $125,000, Cunningham was to receive under the new contract a salary of $100,000 for the first year, $110,000 for the second, and $120,000 for the third. The contract also stated that Cunningham “had special, exceptional and unique knowledge, skill and ability as a basketball player” and that Cunningham therefore agreed the Cougars could enjoin him from playing basketball for any other team for the term of the contract. In addition, the contract contained a clause prohibiting its assignment to another club without Cunningham’s consent. In 1971, the ownership of the Cougars changed, and Cunningham’s contract was assigned to Munchak Corporation, the new owners, without his consent. When Cunningham refused to play for the Cougars, Munchak Corporation sought to enjoin his playing for any other team. Cunningham asserts that his contract was not assignable. Was the contract assignable? Explain.

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Verified Answer

Contract of Individual C is assignable. In the case of right to performance to personal services, assigning personal skills  without the consent of the party that will be rendering the services is not allowed.
However, in this scenario, the contract has prohibited its assignment to another club with its prior consent but can assign the contract to another owner of the same club. Such circumstances will lead to the contract being assignable.

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