The lawsuit over the 2012 Warner Bros baseball pic Trouble With The Curve just lobbed a potential legal bombshell. In a filing today (read it here), plaintiff Ryan A Brooks and his Gold Glove Productions say they have “clear and convincing proof that Defendants’ testimony and other alleged evidence rests upon fraudulent documents and things.” Citing a digital investigator looking at computer disks submitted by Warners in the case, Brooks’ lawyers claim that there is “clear evidence that the date/time stamps of the disks were manipulated to present inaccurate information about date of creation.” Despite the allegations, the studio wasn’t giving any ground. “The lawsuit is reckless and a waste of time and money. The allegations are false,” a WB spokesperson told me. Warner Bros released Trouble With The Curve in September 2012 and the pic grossed $35.8 million domestically and almost $50 million worldwide.
The filing today in federal court opposed Warner Bros’ December 4 motion for summary judgment to get the breach of contract and contract infringement case tossed. In an initial multimillion-dollar filing on October 1, Brooks alleged that the Clint Eastwood-Amy Adams pic credited to screenwriter Randy Brown was in fact written by one Don Handfield. Pushing back, WB said in December that it has “extensive, indisputable evidence” that Brown completed a number of drafts of what became the film and pushed to have the suit dismissed. Late last year, the studio submitted evidence to that end. That’s when plaintiff’s lawyer Gerard Fox brought aboard former U.S. Army Counterintelligence Special Agent Trevor Reschke as his digital investigator.
“The forensic examination conducted on the floppy disks detailed in this report leads me to believe that they have been manipulated to provide the appearance of disks used from 1990 to 2003; they contain system information not consistent with the dates of use suggested by the date time stamps present, manipulated date time stamps, signs of file wiping, and indications of activity that is not plausible,” says today’s 33-page filing quoting from Reschke’s report. “There are various anomalies and indicators that these disks were manipulated to look as if they were truly being used at the time periods alleged, when based upon our examination that is not plausible or possible for the reasons stated in this report.”
In his original filing, Brooks claims he had contracted Handfield on a work-for-hire basis to help him write copyrighted scripts to a film entitled Omaha. In his suit that sought a jury trial, Brooks, among other things, alleged that there were too many details involving the world of baseball scouting that made it to screen for someone not intimately familiar with the subject to know. Among the defendants named in the 119-page suit were Eastwood’s Malpaso Productions, several Warner Bros divisions, and talent agencies UTA and Gersh — though not Eastwood himself.
As it frequently is , Warners is represented by Daniel Petrocelli, Matt Kline and Ashley Pearson of LA firm O’Melveny & Myers.
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