The on-going multi-million legal drama between Prospect Park and ABC over licensed soaps All My Children and One Life To Live looks poised to get much rougher and much pricier. Nearly seven months after Jeff Kwatinetz and former Walt Disney Studios president Rich Frank’s company first filed a breach of contract lawsuit against ABC, their lawyers Wednesday entered an amended complaint in LA Superior Court. One big change is how much money the plaintiffs are seeking. “As a direct and proximate result of ABC’s breaches, Prospect Park has been damaged in an amount to be determined at trial, but including at least $30 million in out-of-pocket losses and/or at least $95 million in lost profits,” says today’s filing. That’s way up from the $25 million the plaintiffs were looking for in April. Claims that ABC called “baseless” then. The now amended suit also includes claims of promissory fraud and declaratory relief and seeks Prospect Park’s continued licensing fee payments to be waived and an extension of that agreement while the case goes on – which could be years.
In addition to previous allegations of dirty dealing on ABC’s part, today’s filing says that the network inked long term agreements with OLTL actors behind the production company’s back. in the hope of creating a new property of its own. “Unbeknownst to Prospect Park, at the same time the ink was drying on the Licensing Agreement granting Prospect Park an exclusive license for OLTL through January 31, 2013, ABC insiders were developing a plan to create a mega-soap through the amalgamation of OLTL and GH, intentionally disregarding Prospect Park’s rights,” the amended complaint adds. This comes on top of the April filing’s claims that ABC has been breaking the licensing agreement, killing off OLTL characters on loan to General Hospital and deliberately attacking Prospect Park’s efforts to continue AMC and OLTL online.
This latest legal move comes amidst speculation that at least one of the shows is going down. AMC cast members recently said on social media that they were told not to anticipate a return from their current hiatus.
Prospect Park is represented in the case by a plethora of LA and Houston-based attorneys led by trial lawyer James Edward Maloney of Texas’ Andrews Kurth. ABC is represented by Jeffrey Valle, Susan Klein and Nuritsa Ksachikyan of LA’s Valle Makoff.