Larson & Gaston, LLP


"Explosive" entertainment litigation dispute truly packs a punch

The below-described entertainment litigation imbroglio has a close and obvious nexus to Los Angeles, given the film industry's central association with the city, which is flatly unparalleled elsewhere.

By happenstance, though, the venue that most formally features in a tale involving multiple allegations of wrongdoing and claims for damages that are well in excess of $100 million is New York City, specifically a state court there.

That court will oversee litigation commenced earlier this month by a major financier in the film industry who alleges that she has been sorely wronged by a film finance company and is thus entitled to recoup a significant amount of money as damages.

To wit: $70 million.

As noted in a Hollywood media report, investor Sarah Johnson's legal filing is closely connected with earlier litigation targeting Worldview Entertainment, which has provided investment money for many well-known movies, including the award-winning Birdman. Johnson invested millions in that film through Worldview.

Prior to Johnson's complaint, ex-Worldview principals had also filed lawsuits against the company. Johnson says that her litigation was partially necessitated by those earlier filings, especially because they have interfered -- at least temporarily -- with her ability to recoup money she has allegedly lost.

Johnson's complaint ticks off a number of counts of alleged misconduct by Worldview (28 in fact). One principal accusation contends that company officials "made repeated [false] representations" to her regarding her supplied funds to be used on the Birdman project and in other movies. She additionally claims that those individuals lied to her by falsely guaranteeing an inflated investment return that never materialized.

And, on top of that, Johnson states that Worldview breached material contracts on multiple occasions, resulting in direct monetary losses to her.

Johnson filed her complaint on March 12.

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