Deal clears remaining litigation for duo vs. studio

Alan Ladd Jr. and Jay Kanter have settled their remaining litigation against Warner Bros. over the studio allegedly keeping them out of profits from movies sold in packages for TV.

Terms of the settlement are confidential.

A spokesman for Warner Bros. had no further comment Friday about the settlement, which was disclosed earlier this week in a court filing.

Ladd and Kanter produced films for Warner Bros. under The Ladd Co. partnership from 1979 until leaving they left the studio in 1985. They asserted they were entitled to a share of gross receipts of the films and sued the studio in 2003.

The duo were awarded $3.2 million in 2007 by a Los Angeles Superior Court jury, which found Warner Bros. liable for breaching its obligations. Ladd and Kanter had claimed that when 11 of their films — including “Blade Runner,” “Body Heat,” “Chariots of Fire,” “Night Shift” and the “Police Academy movies” — were licensed to the domestic and international television and cable market, they were packaged with inferior films and the fees attributed to their films were underallocated.

Some of the remaining claims had been dismissed by the trial judge, but a three-justice panel of the 2nd District Court of Appeal reinstated the claims last May and allowed the producers to take them to trial.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mary Ann Murphy had agreed last month to expedite the trial, moving the date from October to May, due to the producers’ ages and physical conditions. Ladd is 73 and Kanter is 83.

During the 2007 trial, Ladd and Kanter claimed they were entitled to millions more in damages because the Ladd Co. logo was omitted on the packaging on a number of DVDs including “Chariots of Fire,” “Night Shift,” “The Right Stuff” and “Once Upon a Time in America” from 1997-2003.

Warners claimed the omission, which affected approximately 300,000 units, was inadvertent and the judge in the case dismissed the credit claim on the grounds that the damages were too speculative. A claim involving profit participation on “Blade Runner” also was dismissed because it breached a prior settlement with the studio.

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