(CN) – Miramax co-owner Ron Tutor claims David Molner and Aramid Entertainment “declared war and commenced a scorched earth battle” after Tutor paid $2.9 million to settle claims over loans to finance movies like “Paranormal Activity” and “Blue Valentine.”
Tutor and his company, Library Asset Acquisition Company, sued Molner, Aramid, Screen Capital International and Orange Trust in Los Angeles Superior Court for breach of contract.
Tutor claims Aramid and Molner, “have engaged in a pitched battle for several years now with film financier David Bergstein and numerous entities which formed Bergstein’s motion picture operations.”
Bergstein is not a party to the lawsuit, but three former employees of Bergstein’s companies are named as defendants: Roger Hanson, Hans Turner and Jeffrey Gaul.
Tutor says he invested in movies with Bergstein and guaranteed some of the loans obtained by Bergstein’s companies.
“While appearing complex, this action is, at its heart, a rather simple case of breach of contract; the contract being a written release agreement,” according to the lawsuit.
Tutor says he and his company paid Aramid almost $3 million for loans from Thinkfilm, a company related to Bergstein. Aramid in turn agreed to “a broad release of any and all claims” related to the Thinkfilm loans, according to the complaint.
But the Aramid entities were not happy with the release.
“[Aramid], reeling from in house financial trouble and furious with Bergstein for refusing to agree to roll several entities’ loans into a single, shockingly overpriced and usurious ‘global deal,’ declared war and commenced a scorched earth battle with Bergstein and Tutor, who had guaranteed several of the loans,” the lawsuit states.
Aramid and its related companies filed multiple lawsuits and petitions in state, federal and bankruptcy court, “seeking a wide array of damages and seeking to force several entities into bankruptcy,” according to the complaint.
“These suits and petitions, however, had a fundamental flaw; Aramid and all of Aramid’s affiliates and persons acting for or on behalf of Aramid related entities, had already released the claims that made up the lion’s share of the legal basis for the various suits and petitions.”
By breaching the release agreement, Tutor says he and his company have suffered “tens of millions of dollars in losses” of the collateral they owned as security for the loans they bought, and have spent millions on defense against needless lawsuits.
Tutor says Aramid was facing financial problems, and “in order to continue its ability to charge enormous and usurious interest rates, penalties and management fees, Aramid embarked on a scheme to hide its losses on other non performing loans and to cover up the fact that it had inflated the value of its loans to investors.”
“Molner and Aramid ultimately decided to do this by waging an aggressive litigation campaign against Bergstein, the Bergstein related entities, LAAC and Tutor to detract attention from Aramid’s performance problems,” the complaint says.
The plaintiffs sued the Aramid entities for breach of contract, interference, and injunctive relief that would dismiss all claims related to the release from the Thinkfilm loans.
The plaintiffs are represented by Nomi Castle, David Romyn, Robert Nida and John Dragonette of Castle & Associates in Beverly Hills, Calif.
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