7:15pm PT by Alex Ben Block
'Trouble With the Curve' Lawsuit Refiled in L.A. Superior Court
A producer who claims the idea for the Clint Eastwood movie Trouble With the Curve was stolen from his company refiled his lawsuit Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court, demanding at least $5 million. The suit was previously dismissed by a federal court.
In October 2013, Ryan A. Brooks first filed his lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, alleging his company Gold Glove Productions LLC had hired a screenwriter in 2008 and they had developed a script very similar to that of the movie. At that time, Warner Bros. was named in the legal action.
This time, the suit is against Don Handfield and Tressa Difiglia Handfield; Charles Ferraro; the United Talent Agency; Randy Brown; Johnny 99 Films; and Back to the Lab Inc.
Brooks had engaged the Handfields to write and rewrite the script. The suit charges that they breached a confidentiality clause in their contract by disclosing the screenplay to UTA and to Ferraro, who is an agent there.
The suit says that Brown is a musician who has no other film credits.
The suit says Ferraro disclosed the script idea to Brown, who then wrote the script that was produced by Warner Bros. The movie was a critical and box-office dud, grossing about $48 million worldwide
On Feb. 24, 2014, a copyright infringement claim in the suit was tossed out. Then, on April 16, the federal court dismissed the remaining claims but said some could be pursued in state court.
An appeal of the federal court ruling was filed, according to the suit, and is still pending.
The new state suit is for breach of contract, inducing breach of contract and unfair business practices.
A spokesperson for UTA declined to comment. Handfield declined to comment on his own behalf and that of his wife.