December 5, 2007 / 12:06 AM / 10 years ago

"Crash" pileup continues in L.A. court

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

<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>

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.”

The lawsuit is the latest in a long line of litigation involving the film.

A lawsuit filed by Yari against producer Cathy Schulman, and a suit filed by Schulman and “Crash” executive producer Tom Nunan are pending.

Yari’s lawsuit against the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the Producers Guild of America over producer credits was dismissed in December 2006. (The Academy limits the number of producers eligible for the best picture Oscar to three, and Yari failed to make the cut.)

A lawsuit filed by Haggis, Moresco and another of the film’s producers, Mark Harris, against Lifetime TV was dismissed this year. That lawsuit took issue with the series “Angela’s Eyes,” which was heavily promoted as being a project from “the producers of Academy Award-winning movie ‘Crash.”’

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter

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