Crime writer Patricia Cornwell missed her book deadline and lost around $15 in million non-recoverable advances and commission. According to a Feb. 19 report on MSN News, yesterday she won a $51 million settlement against her financial advisers who she blames for her inability to meet her agreed deadline. She sued Anchin, Block & Anchin LLP for negligence and breach of contract.
Cornwell explains that her home in Concord, Mass., needed renovation work and it went on longer than was anticipated. She could not concentrate on her writing because of the distraction of the renovation work. It is unclear what the manner of work being done entailed, but the noise evidently was significant. The article on MSN News quotes Patricia Cornwell as she describes the effect it had on her ability to complete her book assignment.
"This was very destabilizing. I really lost my ability to focus and concentrate. I did not know what the book was about anymore," Cornwell said.
She requested that her financial advisers find her another place to work while the renovations were going on, but they did not do so. Because of extensive financial losses, her agents had put her on an aggressive management strategy without her permission and did not meet her requests for adequate workspace. (Maybe she should have gone to the public library?)
She hired this firm in 2009 when she realized that she only had a net worth of 13 million although she had made eight-figure earnings during the past four years. The firm, including principal Evan Snapper, said that the money was all there; no funds were missing. They described her lifestyle as “extravagant,” according to MSN News. She had Ferraris, helicopters, and a $4,000 per month rental in New York. They also claimed that Patricia Cornwell expected them to handle “everything from bringing her clothes to the tailor to arranging care for her mother.”
You can peruse Patricia Cornwell's author page here on Amazon.
Could this lawsuit have opened up legal avenues for procrastinators everywhere? There are limitless possibilities here not just for writers but students with homework assignments, too!