Disney Animators Draw Up Agreement

Cinderella's Castle - Magic Kingdom, by flickr user beanhead4529, licensed by Creative Commons.

If the glass slipper fits…

Anti-poaching agreements prohibit companies from pitching a potential position to, and subsequently hiring, employees from their competitors. The companies refrain from increasing their employees’ wages past the initial contracted rate, leaving the employees stagnant. As a result, the employees and their wages suffer.  The Walt Disney Company is guilty of anti-poaching practices, and have agreed to settle a class action lawsuit in the amount of $100 million. Other involved companies in this present settlement include Pixar, Lucasfilm, and Two PIC MC. Disney is the last of several major companies to settle. The animation and visual effects companies that previously entered settlements are DreamWorks Animation, Fox’s Blue Sky Studios, Sony Pictures Imageworks Inc., and Sony Pictures Animation Inc. Read More

Police Brutality Lawsuit Reaches Settlement

New Orleans Police Department squad car at New Orleans Pride, by flickr user Tony Webster, licensed by Creative Commons.

“It’s hard to be a saint in the city”

An 11-year dispute finally reached a resolution in the amount of $13.3 million. The lawsuit against the city of New Orleans was filed in the days following Hurricane Katrina. Seventeen plaintiffs in the suit brought allegations against the city, claiming it was responsible for “wrongful deaths and injuries, deprivation of civil rights and lost wages caused by instances of police brutality.” The three major complaints referenced in the lawsuit include a police-related shooting, resulting in the amputation of one woman’s arm and the deaths of two men on the Danziger Bridge; the cover-up of the shooting of a gentleman named Henry Glover; and the beating and death of a gentleman named Raymond Robair, by a police officer. Read More

Grinding Gears: Celebrity Sues Over Likeness

Gears, by flickr user Joe deSousa, licensed by Creative Commons.

War, what is it good for?

Video games these days are becoming more life-like than ever. With advanced graphics and new technology, studios are able to push the boundaries on making games similar to live action movies. However, one former football player / professional wrestler has a gear to grind with a certain character in a popular franchise. Lenwood Hamilton is claiming that the character “Cole Train” in the Gears of War video game is based off his own likeness, down to the physical traits and personality. He has filed suit against Microsoft and Epic Games, the games’ creators, and is seeking unspecified damages. Read More

Sent Off: Soccer Manager Sees Red

Penalty Kick, by flickr user Robert Francis, licensed by Creative Commons.

“That’s poor defending.”

While many people thought soccer in the United States would never make headlines, the coach of a US-based club has proved that thought false. Piotr Nowak, former manager of the MLS’s Philadelphia Union, had filed a lawsuit against the team for wrongful termination. Nowak claims he was never given a fair shake as manager and was unfairly let go from his position. Union CEO Nick Sakiewic begs to differ, and cited the team’s poor performance, lackluster direction, and a number of questionable management decisions as grounds for the firing. With the lawsuit being moved to a new judge, the case files have been released to the public. This has painted Nowak in a terrible light, as there are now details of certain coaching techniques and acts which violate MLS rules and regulations. Nowak had been seeking damages exceeding $115,000.

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“Gamer vs Cartoon” Lawsuit Gets Erased

More Arcade Games, by flickr user Sam Howzlt, licensed by Creative Commons.

Game Over, Please Insert Coin

Sometimes the court room can become a little cartoonish, but a recent case regarding a real man’s likeness to a TV show character has reached a new level. Billy Mitchell, the man famous for holding the world record for the video game Donkey Kong, recently filed a lawsuit against Cartoon Network. One of the network’s shows, aptly named “Regular Show”, featured a character who looks very similar to Mitchell, who appears as a floating head with video game skills. The character, named “GBF”, has long brown hair and big beard, very similar to the plaintiff. Mitchell came to fame in 2007 alongside the documentary “King of Kong”, which tells the story of how he broke the world record for Donkey Kong, and also details his prowess in other arcade games like Pac-Man. A judge in New Jersey recently decided that the lawsuit itself was without merit, and decided to pull the plug.

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