George Litto, whose agency represented the original writer and creator of the 1960s and ’70s CBS TV series Hawaii Five-O, has filed suit against the trusts for heirs of writer-producer Leonard Freeman and their representatives alleging that he was shut out of negotiations over the new version of the series and deprived of the relevant income and rights. Litto points out that CBS at one point filed a federal claim trying to wrest control from Litto and the Freeman trusts but ultimately lost. Litto’s suit contends that CBS and the trusts then shut him out of negotiations for the new series by attempting to renegotiate a 1974 agreement between Litto and the trusts that gave him substantial rights in connection with future versions of the series. Litto further contends that all rights to negotiate terms for and to share in revenues from future iterations of Hawaii Five-O reverted to him upon the death of Freeman’s widow Rose in March 2012.
Litto accuses the Leonard and Freeman trusts of breach of written contract, breach of fiduciary duty and unjust enrichment. Litto seeks a minimum of $10 million in actual damages plus punitive and exemplary damages to be determined by the court. Litto also asks for a full accounting to determine the amount of money he is owed and asks the court to transfer to Litto and his company of any and all revenue and rights associated with the new Hawaii Five-O under under his original and renegotiated agreements with the trusts. You can read details of the lawsuit here.