Judge tosses ‘Hurt Locker’ lawsuit

Army Sgt. Jeffrey Sarver alleged his likeness was improperly used

A U.S. District judge has dismissed the lawsuit filed by Sgt. Jeffrey Sarver against the filmmakers of Summit’s “The Hurt Locker” alleging that they had improperly used his likeness in the film.

The pic’s screenwriter and producer, Mark Boal, said in a statement that he had interviewed several soldiers in Iraq while doing research for the film, and it was a disservice to all those other soliders for Sarver to think that he was the basis for the character in the film.

Boal’s lawyer, Jeremiah Reynolds, said Sgt. Sarver’s claims were “meritless and completely barred by the First Amendment.”

U.S. District Judge Jacqueline Nguyen’s “ruling is a huge victory for all filmmakers, who should feel comfortable using real-life events as inspiration for their films. No artist should ever be forced to create entire fictional worlds that have no basis in reality simply because they fear the threat of meritless lawsuits,” Reynolds added.

As part of her ruling, Judge Nguyen ordered Sgt. Sarver to pay the attorneys’ fees incurred by the filmmakers in defending the lawsuit.

“The Hurt Locker,” starring Jeremy Renner and directed by Kathryn Bigelow, revolved around a bomb dismantling team in Iraq. It won six Academy Awards including best picture, director and adapted screenplay.

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