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Lawyers for The Walt Disney Co. have filed court papers to begin the appeal of the $319 million verdict against the company in the long-running battle over profits from Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.
The move is not a surprise, as Disney has vowed to appeal what many believe to be the largest jury verdict in a so-called “Hollywood accounting” case ever. Celador Int’l, producer of the Millionaire game show, accused Disney in federal court of manipulating its books to cheat the company out of hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue from the hit franchise, which aired on Disney’s ABC network.
As we reported last month, the judge in the case denied Disney’s effort to have the verdict thrown out and the case re-tried in front of a new jury. So the studio has filed a notice of appeal in the case to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Disney’s opening brief is due on June 27. Celador’s response is due 30 days later.
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