"Crash" pileup continues in L.A. court

Tue Dec 4, 2007 7:42am EST
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By Leslie Simmons

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Almost two years after it won the best picture Oscar, "Crash" has another lawsuit to add to its list.

On Friday, director Paul Haggis and fellow screenwriter Robert Moresco filed suit against producer Bob Yari in Los Angeles Superior Court, claiming they are owed more than $4.7 million in profits.

Haggis directed and produced the film, and co-wrote the Oscar-winning script with Moresco, who was an uncredited producer.

The latest lawsuit involved a December 2002 "producers' contingent compensation" contract Haggis and Moresco entered into with Yari in which they each agreed to a three-tiered compensation package depending on "Crash's" financial success, according to the lawsuit.

But Haggis and Moresco claim a July audit revealed that they are owed at least $4.7 million in adjusted gross receipts for the film, which brought in $54.5 million domestic and $43.8 million overseas.

The two allege that "certain bogus charges" were inserted into statements and that Yari did so when he "began to realize the order of magnitude of the success of 'Crash' and that Yari would have to pay a large share of the upside unless new, bogus deductions were inserted."

Yari's attorney could not be reached for comment.

Haggis and Moresco seek a court order imposing a constructive trust on assets held by Yari for "Crash."   Continued...

<p>Paul Haggis poses during a photocall for his film "In the Valley of Elah" at the 33rd Deauville American Film Festival September 4, 2007. REUTERS/Vincent Kessler</p>