In a complaint filed in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Danny Casale (“Casale”), known as Coolman Coffeedan, is coming under fire by DigiART for fraud and material breaches of contract surrounding an NFT mint.
For the uninitiated, minting an NFT is the process of turning a digital file into a crypto collectible or digital asset on the chosen blockchain.
The complaint alleges DigiART and Casale entered into a contract (“DigiART contract”) that “expressly gave DigiART the exclusive right to market and offer for sale all non-fungible tokens” that Casale created during the contract term, in which the parties “were to split net sale proceeds of any of Casale’s NFTs on a 50-50 basis.”
Specifically, "on April 30, 2021, Casale executed and delivered a signed contract to DigiART, exclaiming 'Attached is the signed agreement! Super stoked for everything to come.'”
According to the Plaintiff, Casale hired DigiART and its digital art dealer Michael Katz (“Katz”) to “promote Casale’s digital and physical art and raise his public profile and exposure to an international art collector base.” To do so, DigiART spent “considerable resources (time and money) over the course of several months.”
To bolster its claims, the Complaint recounts that Katz “launched Casale’s official debut at Miami Art Week during the renowned Art Basel event in December 2021” by organizing “a pop-up exhibition and experience to feature Casale’s work, called ‘Ur Special Coffee’ at The Bagel Club – Miami. The pop up historically sold the world’s most expensive cup of coffee at $1,000 per paper cup, with each cup featuring a one-of-a-kind original artwork by Casale.”
Despite following through with its contractual obligations, DigiART accuses Casale “decided to wholly ignore his contractual obligations” by “marketing and offering for sale online over 10,000 NFTs” known as “Coolman’s Universe.” At the time the complaint was filed, the NFTs had a “trading volume on the online platform OpenSea of more than 18,000 Ethereum, i.e., over $50 million.”
So where did Casale go wrong? According to the Complaint, the terms of the DigiART contract requires Casale “to provide to DigiART 50% of the net proceeds from the sale of the offending NFTs…”
Not only has Casale “flatly refused to comply,” but DigiART states that he has “falsely claimed – despite transmitting his signature… that no agreement was ever actually executed…”
Plaintiff claims Casale’s response to all of this was that the litigation was “’not surprising’ that the company would bring this case because ‘success breeds litigation.’”
The complaint is captioned DigiART, LLC v. Danny Casale.
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