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‘Piece’ suit is dismissed

Judge rules in DreamWorks' favor

HOLLYWOOD — A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit Monday filed by producer Jerome O’Connor against DreamWorks over the film “An Everlasting Piece.”

In granting summary judgment in favor of DreamWorks, U.S. District Court Judge Harry L. Hupp ruled that there was no breach of contract in the way the studio distributed or marketed the film.

The $14 million comedy, directed by Barry Levinson, involved two Irish barbers, one Catholic and one Protestant, who try to corner the local market on hairpiece sales. The film takes satiric stabs at both the IRA and the British Government.

The film was released briefly in 2000 on 13 screens and grossed $75,000. O’Connor sued in 2001, claiming that DreamWorks buried the film because it didn’t want to offend the British government. At the time, DreamWorks principal Steven Spielberg was about to be knighted.

DreamWorks attorney Bonnie Eskenazi said, “The court found that DreamWorks had completely fulfilled its obligations under the contract and that there wasn’t even a scintilla of evidence of fraud. Dreamworks was totally vindicated.

O’Connor’s attorney, Eamon Dornan, said, “We believe the judge’s ruling was erroneous and we fully intend to appeal. The judge’s ruling allows DreamWorks and other production companies to engage in bad-faith activities.”