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posted: 2/25/2010 12:01 AM

Trainers sue Harpo Inc. for breach of contract

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Husband-and-wife fitness trainers Dina Castillo and Frank Nunez have filed a breach-of-contract lawsuit against Oprah Winfrey's Harpo Inc., contending Harpo refused to pay them for months of training work they had done for its employees.

Castillo and Nunez Harpo asked them to create a customized fitness program for its employees in 2008, and they were asked to appear on a program on Winfrey's XM Radio channel.

But according to the lawsuit filed Wednesday in Cook County Circuit Court, Harpo terminated the trainers after they sent e-mails to other clients announcing their March 2009 appearance on the program. Harpo officials said the mass e-mail violated a confidentiality agreement.

The lawsuit contends that when the couple requested payment, Harpo attorneys claimed they provided their services voluntarily.

Harpo legal counsel William Becker wasn't available by telephone Wednesday night.

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