5:57pm PT by Ashley Cullins
'Duck Dynasty' Creators Regain Control of Gurney Productions Under Court Order
Scott and Deirdre Gurney have been reinstated as the controlling managers of Gurney Productions — kind of.
On Monday, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Susan Bryant-Deason granted the Gurneys’ motion for a preliminary injunction, which would allow them to regain day-to-day control of the company at least until their legal fight with ITV Studios plays out. However, ITV is already appealing the decision and the duo's court victory will be delayed until that is decided.
The Duck Dynasty creators were ousted from the company in December, and dueling lawsuits followed.
ITV claims the couple were engaging in self-dealing and fraud to drive up the cost of their remaining share of the company in the event of a buyout. Meanwhile, the Gurneys say ITV threatened to go public with fake fraud and embezzlement allegations to get them to sell their minority share at a lower price.
“We are grateful that the Gurneys’ request for an injunction has been granted by the court, which reviewed the facts of the case and based on those facts agreed that the Gurneys should be reinstated as the controlling managers of Gurney Productions,” said attorney Michael Weinsten. "The Gurneys are proud of the company they founded and are looking forward to rejoining their team to continue building upon the consistent growth they have achieved over the past 12 years. We have always believed the truth was on our side and today the judge reaffirmed our position.”
ITV issued a statement Monday afternoon in response to the decision: “ITV respects the judge’s ruling today especially as she expressly declined to opine on the merits and instead gave a view on a preliminary issue of contractual interpretation. We remain very confident of success in the merits of our case, and fully expect to win once the allegations of deceit, fraud and self-dealing by the Gurneys are exposed at a full trial. ITV is appealing the judge’s ruling, and neither Scott nor Deirdre Gurney can return to Gurney Productions while the appeal in this ruling is pending.”