Many Texas residents who enjoy the popular reality television series 'Duck Dynasty" may have been saddened when A&E Networks announced in November that the show's fifth season would be its last. Gurney Productions, which is the company behind 'Duck Dynasty," was sold to ITV America in 2012. On Dec. 9, ITV filed a lawsuit against Gurney Productions founders Deirdre and Scott Gurney claiming fraudulent concealment, self-dealing as well as breach of contract.
The lawsuit, which was filed in a Los Angeles Superior Court, comes just days after the board of the production company announced that the Gurneys were taking a temporary leave of absence. It now seems clear that their departure will be a permanent one. The Gurneys are accused of setting up another television company called Snake River Productions while still employed by Gurney Productions and using their influence within the company to poach key members of its staff and siphon off lucrative business.
The Discovery Channel show 'Northern Territory" lies at the heart of the legal dispute. The Gurney's sold the show's international distribution rights to their recently established production company Snake River for $3.53 million while still employed by Gurney Productions. ITV claims that this figure is artificially low and is seeking unspecified damages and injunctive relief in its legal action.
Lawsuits over contract disputes can be highly complex and challenging to litigate. Attorneys with experience in this area may advise their clients to settle such matters if possible to avoid ruinously expensive court actions. Lawyers could perform background checks on the parties involved before contracts are signed and may suggest revisions when misrepresentation or conflicts of interest seem likely.