Pooh Suit Secures New Judge
Created 10/02/2003 - 23:00
files/pictures/picture-35.jpgIn what has now become the longest running lawsuit in the L.A. Superior Court, the case of POOH heirs, the Slesinger family, versus Disney has received a new judge, according to a report in DAILY VARIETY. The man in charge of complex legal suits, Charles W. McCoy, will take over for Judge Ernest Hiroshige, who requested the move. The first hearing in the next phase of this mega-suit is October 22, 2003.
In 1991, the lawsuit was brought by the heirs of Stephen Slesinger, who had purchased the North American merchandising rights to the POOH characters in 1930, alleging that Disney was cheating them out of a substantial amount of royalty fees. Beginning in the 1960s, Stephen Slesinger Inc. has licensed the characters to Disney and since then Winnie the Pooh and friends have become Disneys most lucrative franchise, nearing the $1 billion mark. The suit had been quiet for some time until a 2001 ruling declared that Disney had destroyed documents pertaining to the case. After Disney lost on appeal its demand to have this information barred from a trial, the mega-conglom issued a motion claiming the Slesingers obtained documents illegally by going through Disneys trash. This motion is still pending.