Cort awarded $5 mil in financing fraud suit


A jury has awarded "Jumanji" producer Robert Cort $5 million in a lawsuit he brought against financiers Benevolent Partners.

Cort sued the hedge fund over a 20-year agreement to finance films for $4.85 million. The producer claimed that when he developed a slate of more than 30 projects, he was told by Benevolent — a $20 million hedge fund led by Grant Johnson — that it was out of money and would not provide the remaining financing.

Claiming breach of contract and fraud, Cort sought $900,000 in costs plus punitive damages. The three-week trial in Los Angeles Superior Court resulted in the jury awarding Cort $3.25 million in compensatory and a $1.75 million in punitive damages against Johnson, who was personally found liable for fraud.

Cort has produced more than 50 feature films, including "Runaway Bride." (partialdiff)