Legal Notes

Mar 15, 2004  •  Post A Comment

Researcher Sues ABC for Wrongful Termination
Veteran television researcher Andrew Fessel has filed a lawsuit against the ABC Television Network, its parent, The Walt Disney Co., and ABC Network President Alex Wallau. Mr. Fessel is suing for wrongful termination, breach of his written employment agreement, retaliation in the workplace and other claims, according to the suit, filed last week in Los Angeles Superior Court. According to the suit, Mr. Fessell joined ABC Oct. 23, 2002, as senior VP of research. He claims to have turned down other opportunities “based on job security promises made to him by ABC.” The suit said Mr. Fessell worked full-time for ABC until Aug. 25, 2003, when he was terminated. He said he was told it was for cause, but that he was never informed what the cause was. He said that ABC has not compensated him as promised under his agreement. An ABC spokeswoman said, “We have not seen the official complaint and therefore cannot comment on it specifically. However, similar claims were raised by Mr. Fessell prior to the complaint being filed, and we determined that they were completely unfounded.”
Alex ben block
Universal Music, DirecTV Sued Over Channel Idea
A Los Angeles start-up company filed a lawsuit last week in Los Angeles against DirecTV and Universal Music Group, alleging they stole its idea for an uncensored music channel. The company, Uncensored Music Network, is seeking reimbursement for $49.8 million in lost financing and $10 million per month in lost profits as well as a court order blocking Universal Music and DirecTV from launching the channel. Uncensored Music also sought an injunction, but the request was denied. A judge has set a hearing for April 13. A Universal Music spokesman declined to comment on the lawsuit. A DirecTV spokesman couldn’t be reached for comment. At issue is a claim that Universal Music and DirecTV, after allegedly having received copies of Uncensored Music’s business plan for a premium uncensored music video channel, used the plan as the basis of the launch of their own uncensored music channel, to be called 1AM. The lawsuit further charges that Universal Music and DirecTV were partnering with adult video production company Vivid Entertainment Group to launch 1AM. A spokeswoman for Vivid said the company had no ties to 1AM.
Jay Sherman