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Disney Wants Judge to Drop Pooh Case

27 Feb, 2004 By: Holly J. Wagner

Attorneys for the Walt Disney Co. have asked a judge to throw out a case brought by the heirs of a literary agent who bought the North American merchandising rights to Winnie-the-Pooh. At issue are royalties on billions of dollars in revenue, which Disney claims excludes DVD and video proceeds that the Slesinger family contends are part of a longstanding licensing agreement.

In a hearing last week, Disney attorneys asked Judge Charles McCoy to toss out the case, because a private investigator hired by former Slesinger attorneys fished purportedly confidential documents out of Disney trash bins. Slesinger attorneys said the request is an effort to do an end-run around another judge's earlier ruling in which Disney was ordered to pay $90,000 in penalties for destroying 40 boxes of documents, including some marked “Winnie the Pooh legal problems.”

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