A lawsuit filed this week proves that money is no laughing matter to Louis C.K. The production company run by the creator and star of FX’s Louie took the boards of the Motion Picture Industry Pension Plan, the Motion Picture Industry Individual Account Plan, and the Motion Picture Industry Health Plan to federal court Wednesday over $28,000 in health and benefit contributions that his Pig Newton shingle says it doesn’t owe. Owned by Louis Szekely (his real name), Pig Newton wants the NY-based District Court to grant a declaration that it doesn’t have to pay the dough as the unions are demanding. The union claim actually comes from the multi-tasking comedian’s role as editor on the Emmy-nominated series; Szekley is the main writer, director and EP of the series as well as its star. He actually fired himself as editor in February 2012 and brought aboard Woody Allen veteran Susan E. Morse in the position. The dispute comes out of how contributions are assessed by the plans — a process the lawsuit calls “an invalid rule.” Pig Newton claims it has made all necessary contribution based on the hours worked by all the company’s employees and has an audit to prove it. The plans are saying that’s true, but that they also assess contributions based on Szekley’s role as an employee/owner, which is calculated on full-time work and not hours. Pig Newton says it employs all its cast and crew under agreements with IATSE and Moving Picture Technicians, Artists, and Allied Crafts. Season 4 of Louie is set to debut in spring 2014.
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