Stanley M. Brooks' firm filing for bankruptcy

Unions' settlement rejection forces shutdown, says attorney

AFTRA has formally rejected a settlement offer by producer Stanley M. Brooks to actors who worked on the 2008 Logo TV series "Sordid Lives," and filed a petition in federal court in Los Angeles to confirm the results of their previous arbitration award against Brooks and his company Once Upon A Time.

The DGA, WGA West and the IATSE Motion Picture Industry Pension and Health Plan have also rejected the offer from Brooks to settle $1.6 million in mostly in unpaid residual payments, for $242,000, or about 16 cents on the dollar.

Brooks' company, as a result, will declare bankruptcy shortly, his attorney Kenneth Suddleson said Friday.

Suddleson noted that his client had told the actors and writer-director Del Shores, as well as the guilds, that he would have no other choice if his offer wasn't accepted.

In a letter to THR two days ago, after an article appeared in which a number of actors and the writer-director made clear their unhappiness with Brooks failure to pay, Suddleson wrote on behalf of his client, "Guild members need to understand if the bankruptcy petition is filed, there can be no class actions or other lawsuits against his company, nor will they receive 100% or anything close to the amounts they believe they are owed.

"Instead," continued Brooks' statement, "they will receive a fraction of what Mr. Brooks has offered, because the Guilds will lose any priority and their claims will be lumped in with all other creditors, whose claims approach another $1.5 million."

The August 26 letter also said that Brooks' problems did begin with the collapse of the Axium payroll company in January 2008 and credited him as one of the few impacted producers who did not immediately file for bankruptcy as a result. "Stan Brooks did in fact borrow money to assure that all those who worked on the production received 100% of their compensation (wages)."

The letter said Brooks and his producing partner and company have not "taken any compensation whatsoever."

His attorney said Brooks had been one of those working to recover money from Axium, and in the meanwhile has spent months trying to work out payment arrangements with the Guilds to avoid the bankruptcy which is now imminent.

The bulk of the claims are from AFTRA, which has told its affected members they have about $1.179 million coming, which includes some penalties for not paying on time. IATSE pension fund's claim is about $82,000.

There is some money that has been collected to pay residuals and is being held by Brooks company. It is unclear what will happen with those funds now, which amount to more than $242,000. There appears to be additional money coming from Logo and from foreign sales as well.