Ronald Tutor Drops Appeal In Lawsuit Against Aramid

Days after former partner David Bergstein lost a similar lawsuit, and was forced to pay the other side's legal bills, the construction executive withdraws his claim.
Ryan Schude

Ronald Tutor has dropped his appeal of a lawsuit involving his movie holding company Library Asset Acquisition Company, which claimed Aramid Entertainment Fund and others violated the terms of a June 2009 waiver that was part of the $2.9 million settlement of a disputed loan.

Friday's decision by Tutor to drop his plea to the California court of appeals comes days after his former business partner David Bergstein lost a similar lawsuit against Aramid and others. If Tutor had continued and lost the appeal, he would have been liable for additional costs, including paying Aramid’s legal bills.

In separate suits, Tutor and Bergstein had originally filed cases in L.A. Superior Court charging that a waiver Aramid signed in regard to a 2009 loan dispute involving the now defunct movie company ThinkFilm prohibited them from being involved in other related lawsuits, as well as a federal involuntary bankruptcy case.

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In December 2012, a judge dismissed Tutor’s suit against Aramid because the allegations were based on claims in state, federal and bankruptcy courts, which he ruled were under other jurisdictions. The judge in the most recent Bergstein case also said that his court did not have jurisdiction because it was a matter for the federal bankruptcy court.

The judge in the Tutor case, a well as the judge in the recent Bergstein case, also said it was unclear if the wavier Aramid officials signed in fact barred legal action by others named in the suit, including Screen Capital International, David Molner and other former employees of Bergstein’s companies.

Tutor, the CEO of the Tutor Perini construction company, was involved with Bergstein in movie projects and movie companies between about 2001 and 2009, when he says he sold his interests back to Bergstein. They are both still involved in an involuntary bankruptcy case, although last month some portions involving them were dismissed

Tutor also was an investor in Miramax when it was acquired from Disney in 2010. However, in January 2013 sold his stake in that company.

There was no response to a request for comment from an attorney representing Tutor.