'Millionaire' judge awards Celador $50M in interestMon Sep 27, 2010 @ 01:13PM PST
By Matthew Belloni
Months after losing a high-profile $270 million jury verdict to "Millionaire" producer Celador over profits from the hit show, Judge Virginia A. Phillips has now awarded an additional $50 million in pre-judgment interest. That brings the total damages to about $320 million.
Disney actually agreed to the $50 million number, and it could have been much higher. California law provides for a 10% rate on prejudgment interest per year, which, going back as many as six years, could have amounted to more than triple the $50 million if Judge Phillips were to calculate it on her own (Celador had initially pushed for $170 million in interest). If the judgment gets overturned, the pre-judgment interest would be reduced, of course, but Disney has agreed not to challenge the $50 million number initially.
As you'll recall, a jury ruled in July that Disney and its ABC division shortchanged Celador in calculating the amount of profits owed on "Millionaire," which was a major hit for ABC. The jury verdict is the largest in the history of Hollywood accounting cases.
Disney filed its post-trial motions on Friday seeking to overturn the jury decision. If Judge Phillips upholds the verdict, Disney has said it will appeal the decision.