Disney has been fighting a legal ruling from 2010 when Celador International received a judgment to the tune of $319 million against Disney over the latter’s supposed hiding of profits relating to the hit television series “Who Wants to be a Millionaire.” The jury verdict in 2010 sided with Celador International, awarding the British entertainment company $269 million plus an additional $50 million in interest.
Disney was hoping for a new trial and a new opportunity to prove its innocence, but the bid was shot down by the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on December 3, 2012, according to a report issued by the Associated Press. Parties in the appeal bid included ABC, Buena Vista Television, and Valleycrest Productions.
The original lawsuit can be traced back to 2004 when Celador originally filed paperwork against Disney, accusing the creator of Mickey Mouse, Cinderella, and countless other classics of concealing profits. These supposed underhanded deals and creative accounting practices denied Celador International of its rightful share of money relating to the popular “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” television program. The television show was created in Britain, by Celador International, and was brought to the United States later on where it enjoyed a nice run for many years on the ABC television network.
The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld the award, so Walt Disney has little choice but to hand over the $319 million in cash. The size of the award makes it the largest profits- related verdicts case in the history of Hollywood and it will go down in the books as closed and settled unless legal teams from Disney can find another angle and reopen the case.
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