Layne Leslie Britton says that Mark Burnett’s former partner Conrad Riggs owes him more than $14 million from the profits from Survivor and other shows. In a complaint (read it here) filed today in LA Superior Court, the former CBS and NBC Business Affairs VP says Riggs has not paid him properly for the advice and consulting he provided to Burnett and Riggs when Survivor debuted on CBS in mid-2000. It was only during Rigg’s own $70 million litigation with Burnett, which was settled earlier this year, that Britton claims that he learned “what Riggs consistently told him for years amounted to little more than lies and deceit.” Rigg’s Cloudbreak Entertainment signed a formal agreement with Britton in October 2000, as Britton says he helped the relatively green producers through some of the tricky and costly waters of the network TV business. For this guidance, Riggs informed the mentoring Britton that he would pay him out of his deal to receive 10% of what Burnett made from Survivor or other projects. “Britton would receive 35% of what Riggs received pursuant to his contract with Burnett for all future cycles of Survivor and 40% of all other monies received from Burnett or his companies pursuant to Riggs’ contract with Burnett,” the complaint claims the two agreed.
While he was paid, Britton, who also served as EVP of Business Operations at UPN and COO of Ticketmaster Ventures, now says that he has discovered Riggs’ company made over $35 million from the success of Burnett’s shows over the years. That was a lot more, the suit claims, than he was informed or compensated for. “As a direct and proximate result of Riggs’s breaches of fiduciary duties, Plaintiff has been damaged in an amount to be proved at trial, but which, in any case, will exceed $14,000,000,” the Breach of Written Contract and Breach of Fiduciary Duty suit states. Britton is seeking compensatory damages plus interest, punitive damages, a full accounting, all legal fees and the customary “other and further relief as the Court may deem appropriate and proper.” Britton is seeking a five day jury trial. He is represented by John Shaeffer and Randy Merritt of Los Angeles firm Lathrop & Gage.
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