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Tag: Lawsuits (61-70 of 533)

Stan Lee Media -- but not Stan Lee -- sues Disney over superhero rights

Call it superpowered litigation: Stan Lee Media, an Internet-based company that filed for bankruptcy in 2000, sued Walt Disney Co. for billions Tuesday. Though comics writer Stan Lee co-founded the company that bears his name, he has not served as one of its officers since the dot-com bubble burst.

As the L.A. Times explains, Stan Lee Media claims the copyright to Lee’s Marvel characters — those who have starred in several movie blockbusters since 2009, when Disney bought the comic book imprint. READ FULL STORY

John Travolta cleared of defamation

A defamation suit brought against John Travolta and his lawyer was dismissed by a Los Angeles Superior Court judge. Writer Robert Randolph — who’d written a book that detailed Travolta’s alleged sexual habits — had filed a lawsuit after a public letter from Travolta’s lawyer Marty Singer responded to those claims because the author claimed Singer’s comments had damaged his reputation. On Thursday, Judge Malcolm Mackey ruled that the letter was a legal expression of free speech.

“Robert Randolph’s ridiculous lawsuit against John Travolta and his attorney Marty Singer never should have been filed,” said Travolta and Singer’s Lynda Goldman, according to CNN. “Notwithstanding inane tabloid fodder, two individuals who sued Mr. Travolta voluntarily dismissed their cases, and Randolph’s case was dismissed by the court. Anyone else who thinks about suing Mr. Travolta should expect a similar result.”

The lawsuit stemmed from tangential accusations by two male massage therapists who separately accused Travolta of sexual battery. One was dismissed by a court, and the other was dropped in May.

Read more:
John Travolta, lawyer Marty Singer sued for libel
Lawsuit from second John Travolta accuser dismissed
First John Travolta assault accuser drops lawsuit

Robert Kirkman and artist Tony Moore settle 'Walking Dead' lawsuit

Walking Dead comic writer Robert Kirkman and artist Tony Moore, who worked on the early issues of the zombie title, have settled their respective lawsuits. In February, Moore filed suit against Kirkman seeking allegedly unpaid royalties from The Walking Dead and other properties and filed another suit in August seeking a determination that he is the co-author of the long-running zombie comic. In turn, Kirkman launched a counterclaim against Moore, alleging the artist had violated a confidentiality provision of their agreement and that he had in fact overpaid his onetime collaborator.

In a joint statement released today, Kirkman and Moore announced that they have “reached an amicable agreement in their respective lawsuits and all parties have settled the entire matter to everyone’s mutual satisfaction. Neither side will be discussing any details but will instead happily and productively spend their time focused on their own work and move on in their lives.”

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Royal family to sue over topless Kate Middleton photos

The Associated Press reports that Britain’s royal family is seeking legal action to prevent a French tabloid from continuing to publish topless photos of Kate Middleton. Lawyers for the crown will go to court in France, where privacy laws are famously strict, to ask for an injunction against the Italian conglomerate that publishes French tabloid Closer, which ran stealthily-obtained paparazzi photos of Middleton sunbathing topless on vacation in Provence. No such suit has been filed against an Irish magazine that also ran the photos. Palace officials took no legal action last month when a British tabloid printed photos of Prince Harry cavorting naked in a Las Vegas hotel.

Jesse Eisenberg-Dakota Fanning movie hit with lawsuit

A copyright infringement lawsuit could halt Night Moves, an indie drama that is set to begin production this fall with Kelly Reichardt (Meek’s Cutoff) directing Jesse Eisenberg, Peter Sarsgaard, and Dakota Fanning. Night Moves focuses on a gang of environmental activists out to blow up a dam, a plot similar to the story of Edward Abbey’s 1975 novel The Monkey Wrench Gang. According to court documents obtained by Deadline, Edward’s widow, Clarke, and Edward Pressman Films own the film options for the book, and they filed suit on Sept. 13 in Los Angeles, claiming that Night Moves is an unauthorized adaptation of The Monkey Wrench Gang. The suit asks for an injunction to stop production on Night Moves as well as unspecified damages from Reichardt, her screenwriting partner Jonathan Raymond, and executive producers Todd Haynes, among others involved in the film.

James Franco sued by former NYU professor

James Franco is being sued for defamation by one of his former New York University professors.

Ex-NYU professor José Angel Santana claims Franco defamed him in comments to the press, after Santana gave Franco a ‘D’ for the course.

Franco had previously told press that Santana was “awful” adding, “I didn’t feel like I needed to waste my time with a bad teacher,” according to the New York Post.

In an interview with the Post about the lawsuit, Santana called Franco a “bully” and said, “I didn’t deserve to be on the receiving end of those falsehoods. I was outraged that someone with his attendance record at NYU had the audacity to make those statements.”

Santana is seeking unspecified monetary damages.

This isn’t Santana’s first Franco-related lawsuit. In December, Santana sued NYU “for wrongful termination, discrimination, and harassment, alleging that when he gave Franco a “D” in Directing the Actor II for missing 12 out of 14 classes, he was demoted, systematically isolated from the university, and eventually denied reappointment.”

EW reached out to Franco’s rep, who did not respond to request for comment.

Read more:
Acting professor sues NYU claiming he was fired for giving James Franco a ‘D’
The 7 James Franco-iest sentences in his latest HuffPo piece
Even when James Franco is a corporate shill, he’s an artist: VIDEO

Court rules against Marilyn Monroe estate

A federal appeals court ruled Thursday that Marilyn Monroe’s estate is powerless to stop a California company from selling her images without its permission. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled that The Milton Greene Archives can continue to sell iconic images of the actress without paying her estate for publicity rights. The ruling hinged on Monroe’s legal residency. She owned a home in California and an apartment in New York when she died in Los Angeles in 1962.

Her estate at the time claimed Monroe was a New York resident to avoid paying California inheritance taxes. The court ruled that her estate can’t now claim Monroe was a California resident to take advantage of a state law granting posthumous rights of publicity to the famous. READ FULL STORY

Julie Taymor and 'Spider-Man' producers reach tentative settlement

Like in any great theater production, the conflict between director Julie Taymor and the producers of the Broadway production of Spider-Man peaked in intensity just before the resolution. A tentative deal settling a dispute over her role in the musical was disclosed in a document filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Manhattan. It said the case could be reopened within two months if the agreement breaks down. Settlement terms were not released.

Dale Cendali, lead attorney for the producers, said she could not comment on the agreement in principle, except to confirm that it was reached Thursday. READ FULL STORY

Bill O'Reilly and Greta Van Susteren sued for defamation

Fox News hosts Bill O’Reilly and Greta Van Susteren are being sued for defamation by Aviva Nash, who claims that her company, Drum Cafe LLC, was slandered “willfully, intentionally recklessly, and maliciously” by both cable talking heads. According to its website, Drum Cafe is “one the world’s leading Team Building and Corporate Events Companies.”

As the lawsuit, published by E! Online, explains, On the Record with Greta Van Susteren featured a segment about Drum Cafe in its July 19 episode. Without mentioning it by name, Van Susteren called the group’s appearance at a Washington conference held by the General Services Administration “insane,” noting that the event included “$21,000 worth of drumsticks.” Five days later, The O’Reilly Factor played a clip of Nash and Drum Cafe at a GSA event in Vegas before the host decried the group’s work as a “con.”

Nash says that Drum Cafe has lost business as a result of O’Reilly and Van Susteren’s remarks.

A Fox rep says that since the network has not yet been served with a lawsuit, there is nothing on which to comment.

UPDATE: Van Susteren has posted a response to Nash’s suit on her website, calling it “frivolous” and “absurd.” Van Susteren also reiterates that neither she nor Fox has been served by the lawsuit.

Dr. Drew recommended antidepressant after receiving $275,000 from its maker

During a radio program in 1999, Dr. Drew Pinsky spoke on-air about the wonders of GlaxoSmithKline PLC’s antidepressant Wellbutrin, recommending it to viewers. What he didn’t disclosed to audiences was that two months before the program aired, Dr. Pinsky was paid the second of two payments from Glaxo totaling $275,000 for “services for Wellbutrin,” according to the Wall Street Journal.

Dr. Pinsky hosted the long-running radio call-in show Loveline. More recently, he was the host of Vh1’s Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew, and he currently hosts the HLN program Dr. Drew. Pinsky’s deal is being disclosed now after the U.S. Justice Department announced a $3 billion criminal and civil settlement with Glaxo over illegal drug marketing and other matters.

EW received the following email statement from Pinsky’s rep:

“In the late 90s I was hired to participate in a 2 year initiative discussing intimacy and depression which was funded by an educational grant by Glaxo Wellcome. Services for the non branded campaign included town hall meetings, writings and multi media activities in conjunction with the patient advocacy group the National Depressive and Manic Depressive Association (NDMDA).  My comments were consistent with my clinical experience.”

Read more:
VH1’s controversial ‘Celebrity Rehab’ benched (for now…) 
‘Octomom’ claims she was drugged
Jeff Conaway’s death ruled accidental, autopsy reveals

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