Court Upholds Record Verdict Against Disney in ‘Millionaire’ Case

Dec 4, 2012  •  Post A Comment

A court has upheld a massive verdict against The Walt Disney Co. in a case related to the hit series "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire," according to The Hollywood Reporter’s Hollywood, Esq. The $319 million verdict is the largest verdict in Hollywood history in a profits case, the story says.

The verdict in the lawsuit filed by U.K.-based Celador was announced by a federal jury in 2010. It was originally about $270 million, but interest charges have since been added.

A three-judge appeals court panel upheld an earlier decision to deny Disney a new trial, the story adds. With the ruling, the damage award will stand unless the U.S. Supreme Court intervenes.

"What the court of appeal did today validates what a careful and thoughtful trial judge and a quite attentive jury did two years ago," said Celador lead litigator Roman Silberfeld.

A Disney representative said the company was "extremely disappointed with the decision; ABC and Buena Vista Television continue to believe that they fully adhered to the ‘Millionaire’ agreement."

Celador’s lawsuit claimed ABC and its affiliated companies didn’t include ABC’s profits when making the profit participation calculations of what was owed to Celador, as well as improperly subtracting merchandising and other expenses related to the show, the piece notes.

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