L.A. Times Staffers Suing Management For Control Of Paper

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L.A. Times Staffers Suing Management For Control Of Paper

Tue Sep 16, 2008 @ 04:33PM PST

By Eriq Gardner

Sam20zell20A group of former and current Los Angeles Times staffers have filed an extraordinary class action lawsuit against Tribune Co. Chief Executive Sam Zell and other Tribune executives.

They allege that after taking over the Tribune Company in December 2007, Zell damaged the reputation and business of the company. They also claim that Zell has de-funded retirement packages, raided the employee pension fund and saddled the company with enormous debt. They are now calling the acquisition "a scam" intended to take advantage of legal technicalities to enrich themselves.

The plaintiffs include some high profile writers, including the Pulitzer Prize winning auto critic and its former legal affairs writer.

If a court accepts the class action, the case could explore many of the economic issues confronting modern newspapers. Here's the complaint.

UPDATE: Sam Zell has taken his time in responding to this suit, but he finally put out a statement that says he's outraged "at having to spend the time and money required to defend ourselves against it." His full statement can be found here.

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The Hollywood Reporter, Esq. blog focuses on how the entertainment and media industries are impacted and influenced by the law. It is edited by Matthew Belloni with contributions from veteran legal reporter Eriq Gardner and others. Before joining The Hollywood Reporter, Belloni was a lawyer at an entertainment litigation firm in Los Angeles. He writes a column for THR devoted to entertainment law. Gardner is a New York-based writer and legal journalist. Send tips or comments to Matthew.Belloni@thr.com

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