Court Upholds $319 Million Verdict Against Disney in 'Who Wants to Be a Millionaire' Case

Court Upholds $319 Million Verdict Against Disney in 'Millionaire' caseLOS ANGELES -- A federal appeals court on Monday upheld a $319 million verdict over profits from the game show "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" and rejected Walt Disney Co.'s (DIS)request for a new trial.

A jury decided in 2010 that Disney hid the show's profits from its creators, London-based Celador International. The ruling Monday by a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found no issues with the verdict or with a judge's rulings in the case.

"I am pleased that justice has been done," Celador Chairman Paul Smith said in a statement.

Disney did not immediately comment on the decision.

The ruling comes more than two years after the jury ruled in Celador's favor after a lengthy trial that featured testimony from several top Disney executives. The company sued in 2004, claiming Disney was using creative accounting to hide profits from the show, which first ran in the United States from August 1999 to May 2002 and was a huge hit for ABC.

The jury found that Celador was owed $269.2 million, and a judge later added $50 million in interest to the judgment.

The appeals court determined the verdict was not "grossly excessive or monstrous" and that it was not based on speculation or guesswork.

Increase your money and finance knowledge from home

Asset Allocation

Learn the most important step in structuring an investment portfolio.

View Course »

Investing in Startups

The lucrative and risky world of startups.

View Course »

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum


Filter by:

Is that why the show is off ABC, and on a syndicate? Makes sense now.

December 10 2012 at 9:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Go ahead Disney, pass it along to the consumers. That's what everyone does isn't it?

December 05 2012 at 6:41 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I guess the price of a Day Pass will be going up again. Suckers will still go.

December 05 2012 at 1:50 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to marilynbibbee's comment

Don't go then dork...

December 05 2012 at 4:33 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

hopefully they'll kiss and make up

December 05 2012 at 12:44 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

Now all you have to do is make a claim, cause you want to be in someone else business, and you sue, win and deplete their assets, get paid, etc. thats all the case seem to be about and disney looses because they don't want their info known. Unless he actually owed the other company some money but it doesn't say...noseyness is paying off.

December 05 2012 at 12:43 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Theresa's comment

No Theresa, it's not about a lawsuit and how bad lawsuits are. This is about outright thieft by Disney against this company. They hide the profits from the company and kept the money for themselves and Mickey Mouse. GO READ THE ARTICLE AGAIN...DO DO!

December 05 2012 at 1:52 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Hey Happy Camper!!!!

December 04 2012 at 11:46 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Will we go over fiscal cliff? Who knows? We're in uncharted terrritory. Everyone said WWII was beccause WWI was left unfinished. Some foks set themselves as seers. All kinds of pledges are made just to find the morning sun was is harsh & perhaps we should nothaveonly time well tell.???????????????????? donated money to whatever cause & call to cancel. Too bad.

December 04 2012 at 11:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Cooked books? That sounds like every government budget and every union budget. It's ashame how just a few corporate thieves can tarnish the image of a great company. Why not make the actual thieves pay the fine instead of a company who employs thousands and made millions happy. The way to punish corporate crime is to punish the people who actually committed the crime, not the shareholders or customers. Then we can arrest to government officals who are bankrupting America.

December 04 2012 at 11:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to vinnyt58's comment

but wouldn't the shareholders benefit from the "creative accounting" I'm not 100% sure how owning stock works but don't they share in the profits?

December 05 2012 at 12:29 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

The people of the Jewish faith in the US and outside (Israel and the world) are some of the most RUTHLESS people on earth. Yes, they are! They are money hungry mongers - racial separatists - always making excuses as to why thy cannot be inclusive and share the wealth among people in this country that help them to make as much money as they do. GREED! The GREEDY Jewish community is at the Epic Center of all that is wrong FINANCIALLY in this country. To some degree I now understand why there was a Holocaust!

December 04 2012 at 10:56 PM Report abuse -8 rate up rate down Reply
4 replies to HappyCamper's comment

Let's see...the trial was 2 years ago...on a law suit filed 8 years ago...filed 2 years after the company claimed they were owed money...and it took them 5 years to figure out what they should have been getting since they were getting paid something during all that time, just not the correct amount...$50,000,000 in interest after all the appeals on top of the $269.2 million penalty...
Nope, I can't see the folks at Disney as all being corrupt. They employ over 150,000 folks. The cost to run Disney World for 1 day in 2010 (including wages, electricity, fuel, maintenance, etc) was $10,000,000 to break even. The mistakes some few, who were in the position to make those mistakes, made have now been paid for. I'm pretty sure those particular individuals have been let go by the Disney Corporation a long time ago. They are really concerned about their image. The attorney's on the otherhand were definately getting rich.
I loved working at Disneyland for 2 years. My daughter loved her 3 full-time years of working at Disneyland. I don't recall meeting any Disney employee that was evil or corrupt. That's a pretty big and broad brush you are painting all those Disney folks with. I don't know what your beef with them is, and I don't care. They will still treat you like you are family the next time you go there (and if you think the price of admission gives you the right to abuse them you are wrong).
By the way, Walt is buried at Forest Lawn. Lovely gravesite. Oh and, I'm going to Disneyland again this next year. I just love the people, the memories, the attention to detail throughout the entire park on everything from the rides, the lines, the shows and the great atmosphere! If you don't like it there, it's your loss. And Disney World is even better. It takes me 2 days just to eat my way through all the restaurants in Epcot alone. One week at Disney World doesn't even come close to all the wonderful experiences you can have there. And the hidden Mickey's...I can hardly wait!
You are certainly entitled to your own opinion. But you'd not appear so out of touch if it was an informed one. Unless you can relate some personal experiences of your own, like Phil Collins, you are just showing how easily fooled you are. Wikipedia, twittering, yaking on Facebook and even taking this article as 100 percent accurate won't give all the facts or make you an expert on this particular subject.
I used to tell my soldiers if they didn't like the unit to vote with their feet and go somewhere else. You can do so as well. Don't go to Disneyland. Don't buy their products. But do you really think that they will miss you? Probably not. They've been going strong since 1955. In those 57 years they have gotten most of the business right. Otherwise they wouldn't still be around. And they will continue to improve, in spite of the bad apples that pop up from time to time. Have a Magical Day! I'm going to!

December 04 2012 at 10:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply