U.S. District Judge John R. Padova has ruled that a recent lawsuit charging an act of molestation by Donald Duck in Epcot back in 2008 will go forward in Pennsylvania despite attempts by The Walt Disney Company to have the case moved to Florida.
According to the law firm representing Celador International, the creators of ‘Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?,’ Judge Virginia A. Phillips of the United States District Court for the Central District of California has awarded $50 million in prejudgment interest to Celador International, Ltd. in addition to the already awarded damages of $269,431,798 awarded to Celador on July 7, 2010 bringing the judgment against Disney to a total of $319,431,798 pending the reward of any additional litigation costs.
Burlington Coat Factory has issued a recall in conjunction with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission for several models of children’s hooded jackets and sweatshirts with draw strings. Among the items being voluntarily recalled is a Disney-branded Winnie the Pooh hooded jacket in toddler sizes. The hooded jackets and sweatshirts have drawstrings through the hood and/or waist which can pose a strangulation or entrapment hazard to children. No injuries or deaths have been reported as a result.
WFTS ABC in Tampa is reporting that 22 year old Timothy Wayne Hammerstone of Polk County, a former cast member at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, has been arrested on 16 counts of possession of child pornography. According to the story, Hammerstone was in correspondence with two ten year old boys via Microsoft Xbox Live and had convinced one of them to send him nude photos in exchange for points to be used on the Xbox marketplace (as per the report from the Orlando Sentinel). While both outlets report that police found sixteen images of child pornography on a USB flash drive, it is unclear how many of those photos are of the direct victim. As of the WFTS report, Hammerstone was sitting in Polk County jail on a $80,000 bond.
TMZ is reporting that designer Arman Mkrtchyan has filed a lawsuit in L.A. County Superior Court against The Walt Disney Company on the grounds that his work was used in Walt Disney Studios’ Alice in Wonderland without any compensation. Claiming that the Red Queen’s throne is a virtual clone of his own piece (and that he in fact had designed a matching set, representing each suit), Mkrtchyan is suing Disney for a ‘designer’s fee’ in the amount of $50,000.
If the case does go to trial, don’t anticipate it to be scheduled on the same day the Knave of Hearts is finally brought to justice for stealing tarts.
CNET News is reporting on a class action lawsuit recently filed on behalf on a group of minors and their parents which claims that Disney Internet Media Group (named as Walt Disney Internet Group) and Disney-owned Soapnet LLC along with co-defendants Warner Bros. Records, Ustream, Inc., Clearspring Technologies, Inc., Demand Media, Inc., Project Playlist, Inc., and SodaHead, Inc. were involved in tracking users’ internet activity even while accessing websites not owned by them.
Earlier today, The Smoking Gun published a claim filed by April Magolon of Upper Darby, Pennsylvania which claims that while visiting Donald Duck at Epcot Center [sic] in 2008, Donald had deliberately grabbed her ‘breast and molest[ed] her and then made gestures making a joke he had done something wrong.’ Magolon, who reportedly had her children with her, is suing Walt Disney Parks and Resorts for negligence and seeking in excess of $50,000, claiming to have suffered ‘severe physical injury, emotional anguish and distress including, but not limited to post-traumatic stress disorder.’
Back in February 2009, we reported on a lawsuit filed by Celador, creator of Who Wants to be a Millionaire?, against The Walt Disney Company on claims that Disney cut its own internal deals and cut Celador out of the process, effectively denying the company of revenue it claims it was owned.
Recently the trial was held and the jury agreed with the game show’s creators, awarding Celador $269.4 Million in damages.
The Walt Disney Company is expected to appeal the decision. In an issued statement, Disney says, ‘We believe this verdict is fundamentally wrong and will aggressively seek to have it reversed.’
According to WOFL, FOX Orlando, Orlando police officer Wendell Robey turned himself in this morning on charges that he illegally sold complimentary theme park passes. Investigators say Robey also sold used hotel key ‘add-ons’ so that guests could take advantage of certain perks limited to on-site guests such as Disney’s free parking and extra magic hour (EMH) access and Universal’s express line service for attractions. Robey was one of four that investigators were seeking out on related charges.
Next month, former Walt Disney World cast member Ana Rosa will begin serving out a two year+ prison sentence as part of a plea bargain for identity theft according to a report from WFTV in Orlando. Although Rosa insists she never used the stolen credit card information, she does admit to purchasing and using a skimming device (using theme park tickets as part of payment) and to selling the information to an outside source who was known to use the information.