Tuesday, April 21, 2009

What is the basis of the Driver's Ed appeal?

Plaintiff should be paid $100,000 for his participation in film, plus punies.

The fee agreement contained in the "consent agreement" signed by Michael Psenicska (the Driver's Ed appellant) was allegedly ineffective and does not bar his lawsuit:

1) the agreement was ambiguous in describing a "documentary-style" film, while the film was in fact a work of fiction; and

2) appellant should have been allowed to go further with his fraud claim because the producers engaged in a classic case of "bait and switch."

Counsel Peter Levine and Diane Krausz argue that the case shouldn't have been dismissed on the pleadings. They allege that producers told appellant that he would be participating in one kind of film (a documentary about integrating foreign people into the American way of life," yet in fact intended to and did trick into participating in another kind of film, a "work of fiction mocking the idea of tolerance and understanding among diverse peoples."

Unlike the other Borat plaintiffs, the Driver's Ed plaintiff does not seek to enjoin further distribution of the film in his complaint. Instead, he seeks damages of $100,000, representing the alleged true value of his participation in the film in light of the film's $260M film profits and $60M dvd profits, as well as punitive damages for the producers' alleged fraud.

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