Drabinsky marks ouster anni with reply to Ovitz statement

Answer filed in Toronto's Superior Court

Garth Drabinsky had a unique way of celebrating the anniversary of his suspension from Livent.

One year after being ousted by Michael Ovitz, the Livent co-founder and former CEO — with Myron Gottlieb — filed a reply in Toronto’s Superior Court to Ovitz’s statement of defense to Drabinsky’s countersuit.

The reply consists of three major points:

  • Drabinsky did not “induce” Ovitz to invest in Livent. According to the reply, “It was (former Livent CEO Roy) Furman and (investor Thomas H.) Lee who independently and/or together approached Ovitz to become an investor in Livent,” and that “Drabinsky did not stand to gain from the infusion of cash into Livent”;

  • that the financial restatements announced in November did constitute a “rewrite” of previous financial statements, and that “a limited restatement may have been justified by the discovery of limited financial irregularities which were unknown to Drabinsky.” However, the defendants “improperly and conspiratorially” seized upon information received and improperly characterized it as a $100 million personal fraud of Drabinsky and Gottlieb. It’s an allegation, states the reply, “which is intentionally false”; and

  • the Livent board of directors was not advised of the existence of a document that essentially indemnified certain Livent accountants from their damaging testimony against Drabinsky.

Besides Ovitz, defendants in the case include Furman and Lee.

Drabinsky’s lawyer, David Roebuck of Roebuck, Garbig in Toronto, was on vacation. The defendants’ lawyer, Peter Howard of Stikeman, Elliott of Toronto, had no comment.

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