Disney loses $319 million appeal in 'Millionaire' game show lawsuit

Disney loses $319 million appeal in lawsuit over profits from the popular 'Who Wants to be a Millionaire' TV series. A jury decided in 2010 that Disney hid profits from the show's creator; Disney loses the $319 million appeal two years later. 

Disney-ABC Domestic Television/AP/File
In this 2008 photo provided by Disney-ABC Domestic Television, Lyndsay Baldwin from Cos Cob, CT feels the pressure as the clock winds down to just one second on her "Millionaire" question in New York. Disney loses a $319 million appeal of a 2010 verdict awarded to a British company that claimed Walt Disney Co. engaged in creative accounting to hide profits from the popular game show, "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire."

A federal appeals court on Monday upheld a $319 million verdict over profits from the game show "WhoWants to Be a Millionaire" and rejected Walt Disney Co.'s request for a new trial.

A jury decided in 2010 that Disney hid the show's profits from its creators, London-based Celador International. The ruling Monday by a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found no issues with the verdict or with a judge's rulings in the case.

"I am pleased that justice has been done," Celador Chairman Paul Smith said in a statement.

Disney did not immediately comment on the decision.

The ruling comes more than two years after the jury ruled in Celador's favor after a lengthy trial that featured testimony from several top Disney executives. The company sued in 2004, claiming Disney was using creative accounting to hide profits from the show, which first ran in the United States from August 1999 to May 2002 and was a huge hit for ABC.

The jury found that Celador was owed $269.2 million, and a judge later added $50 million in interest to the judgment.

The appeals court determined the verdict was not "grossly excessive or monstrous" and that it was not based on speculation or guesswork.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

QR Code to Disney loses $319 million appeal in 'Millionaire' game show lawsuit
Read this article in
https://www.csmonitor.com/Business/Latest-News-Wires/2012/1204/Disney-loses-319-million-appeal-in-Millionaire-game-show-lawsuit
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today
https://www.csmonitor.com/subscribe