Artisan COO wins case vs. Morgan Creek

Jury awards exec with $1.4 million

HOLLYWOOD — Artisan Entertainment chief operations officer Ken Schapiro won a jury verdict this week of $1.4 million in a dispute with his former employer Morgan Creek Prods. and its principal, James G. Robinson.

Schapiro, who worked at Morgan Creek from 1990-97 in various capacities, ultimately president of international sales, sued the company and Robinson in 1998 in L.A. Superior Court alleging breach of contract and fraud, claiming he was owed bonuses. The jury returned a verdict of $1 million against Morgan Creek and Robinson on Monday, then came back with an additional $400,000 in punitive damages against Morgan Creek the next day.

As is typical in a hearing on punitive damages, Robinson revealed that his net worth, $91.25 million. Morgan Creek submitted a balance sheet showing total assets for 2000 were $213.8 million. Total liabilities were $203.5 million.

Morgan Creek’s attorney Terri Macellaro said, “There are inconsistencies in the verdict. In light of the judge not allowing in certain evidence, we believe that the jury was not allowed to see what really happened. That’s why we have appellate courts.”