Jury clears MGM in TV reality suit

Recording for 'LAPD' skein deemed 'unintentional'

A jury on Wednesday found against a Houston couple who claimed a reality TV show invaded their privacy by recording a police call notifying them of their son’s apparent overdose death.

The Superior Court panel voted 8-4 that while a soundman did “record or eavesdrop” on the 1996 call during filming of the now-defunct show “LAPD: Life on the Beat,” it was unintentional, and there was no liability.

Larry Watts, a lawyer for Robert and Marietta Marich, said he was “heartsick” for his clients. They were “trampled by an indifferent corporation” that deals in “voyeurism and basic sleaze,” he said outside court.

During trial, Robert Marich asked for $10 million in damages. Jurors did not award any compensation.

“LAPD: Life on the Beat,” was produced by QRZ Media and distributed by MGM Worldwide Television. The suit named QRZ and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, Inc.

Although QRZ was named in the suit, the company filed for bankruptcy the week before trial and the claim against it is stayed. The case could proceed if the stay is eventually lifted.

“The whole thing is really a sad set of circumstances. Their son died of a drug overdose,” said Mark Helm, the attorney for MGM. “We feel bad for the tragedy that the Mariches went through, but we have said all along that QRZ did not intend to violate anyone’s privacy … We’re happy that the jury agreed.”

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Biz News from Variety