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‘Survivor’ lawsuit begins trial

17 February 2016 Entertainment News

Fourth Estate Staff

Hollywood, CA, United States (4E) – A consultant who filed a lawsuit against a former business partner of the creator of “Survivor” will be undergoing trial as he claims that there are millions of unpaid fees.

The lawsuit was filed by Layne Leslie Britton back in 2012. He argues that he helped in the “innovative and lucrative financial agreement” that “Survivor” creator, Mark Burnett, presented to CBS as per the sharing of advertising risk and revenue. Riggs then allegedly cheated Britton out of his share from the profits.

Britton and Riggs reportedly agreed to the former being entitled with 35 percent of the latter’s share of revenue from “Survivor” Season 2 and forward. Britton was also to have 40 percent of Riggs’ chare for the other shows that he worked on with Burnett. These shares were in exchange for Britton’s advice and consultation regarding business matters in relation to “Survivor.”

The trial began with opening statements form Britton’s representative, Jeffrey D. McFarland. He told the jury, composed of five men and seven women, that sometimes people “steal with a gun and a knife” but other times “they steal from you by lying to you.”

McFarland said that his client and Riggs agreed back in 2000 but the payments did not start until 2002. The payments stopped coming in 2006. At that time, Riggs said in an email that he is having problems with his employment status with Burnett and even promised Britton that he will pay the amount agreed upon. However, a video was played to the jury showing Riggs saying that he will not be paying Britton anymore as he felt like he was paid enough for the work he has done adding that he has not decided yet “whether to keep paying him anymore or not.”

The defense, Eric M. George representing Riggs, said that Britton did little amount of work and there were more done by Riggs and Burnett. Riggs reportedly hired Britton and paid him $1.8 million for part-time work but he found out that the latter “parroted” the legal information he gave to the two other men.

In line with this, Riggs countersued Britton in 2013 saying that the latter was acting as an attorney and should be held liable for his actions. However, a judge granted partial summary judgment in favor of Britton as he did not act as an attorney for Riggs.

This is not the first time that Riggs was part of a lawsuit. In 2008, he sued Burnett for $70 million regarding profits from the show. He claimed that the creator did not properly pay him. The case was settled in March 2012.