LOS ANGELES (CNS) - One of two Entertainment One companies named as defendants in a lawsuit alleging the firms shortchanged Endemol Shine North America out of its share of profits for the Western television series "Hell on Wheels" has been dropped by the plaintiff from the case.
The Los Angeles Superior Court complaint had alleged that Entertainment One Television USA LLC kept for itself tens of millions of dollars in production tax subsidies and shared none of it with Endemol. Endemol sued both eOne USA and eOne Ltd.
But on Thursday, Judge William F. Fahey signed an order approving an agreement by the parties to dismiss eOne Ltd. as a defendant. The ruling was "without prejudice," meaning that eOne Ltd. can be brought back into the case later. The judge has scheduled a case management conference for Oct. 19.
Defense attorneys have maintained in their court papers that eOne Ltd. was not a party to either the term sheet or the distribution agreement and is not even mentioned in those or any other agreements between the two sides.
According to a sworn declaration by Emily Harris, eOne's vice president of global business and legal affairs, the company does not maintain any offices in California, own property or assets in the state nor does it maintain any business records there.
"Hell on Wheels" aired on the AMC network from 2011-16, dealt with the construction of the U.S. transcontinental railroad and was produced by eOne.
"Endemol also entrusted eOne with responsibility for distributing the series in certain territories and sharing the revenues it collected," the suit filed May 10 states. "An inspection of eOne's books reveals, however, that eOne took advantage of its role, kept for itself tens of millions of dollars in production tax subsidies and shortchanged Endemol in numerous ways."