Jury Turns Away Oscar Award Winning Screen Play Writer

Jury Turns Away Oscar Award Winning Screen Play Writer

Partners Jeffrey S. Behar and Tina I. Mangarpan won a jury trial verdict against an Academy Award winning screenwriter in a highly publicized case.

Plaintiff, who won an Oscar as one of the writers for the 1978 film “Coming Home” featuring actor Jon Voight, and national recognition for the screen play for the movie “Slap Shot” featuring Paul Newman, claimed that employees of American Eagle Airlines had committed outrageous acts against her.

Plaintiff owned an estate on the Caribbean Island of St. Lucia, part of the British Virgin Islands. She often flew into and out of the local airport on American Eagle, a subsidiary of American Airlines.

In her suit, she alleged that airline employees verbally abused her, tried to have her falsely arrested at her home and contacted local authorities in an attempt to have her alien property license revoked. She sued for intentional infliction of emotional distress and negligent supervision of airline employees.

Because of the company’s alleged disregard for plaintiff’s well-being, the 57- year-old claimed that she became so distressed that she couldn’t write, losing $2 million of income based on her rate of $875,000 per screenplay.

At trial, Mr. Behar categorized plaintiff’s problem as “writer’s block” and advised the jury that it was actually the famous screen writer who was unpleasant to the airline employees and who provoked the incidents of inappropriate behavior.

The jury returned a verdict in favor of the airlines.

The case was featured in the Los Angeles Daily Journal.