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Saturday, June 15, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Publisher Says NHL Goalie Iced Book Deal

PHILADELPHIA (CN) - After a stellar career defending the net against pucks, Hall of Fame goalie Bernie Parent must defend himself against a state court complaint that he walked away from a book deal, filching a manuscript.

After spending hundreds of hours drafting the goalie's biography, "Risk and Fear: Where Sports Meets Life," Eli Kowalski dba the Sports Challenge Network claims he discovered that a copy editor conspired with Parent to create a derivative work, "Journey Through Risk and Fear: Face Fear, Find Your Purpose."

Kowalski claims that "extensive sections of the derivative work includes verbatim copies" of material from his manuscript.

Kowalski, individually and dba Sports Challenge Network, sued Parent individually and dba Sun Consultants, his agent Dean Smith (not the basketball coach), copy editor Michelle Paiva and her company Ballestra Inc., in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas.

Kowalski claims the alleged knockoff was made possible by copy editor Paiva, who enjoyed "unfettered access" to the manuscript.

Kowalski claims he and Parent entered an agreement in June 2010 giving Kowalski and Sports Challenge the exclusive right for 36 months to publish, sell and license a book about Parent's life. Kowalski says he then "commissioned an author to work with defendant Parent and defendant Smith to draft a manuscript for the work."

He says the multiple rewrites "required literally hundreds if not thousands of man hours".

"One of the professionals" he hired, Kowalski says, was Pavia, as a copy editor.

After he hired her, and without his knowledge, Kowalski says, Pavia "was cultivating a personal and professional relationship with defendants Parent and Smith."

Kowalski claims: "Defendants intentionally planned to have plaintiff exert time, money and unique skill in the development of the manuscript while knowing the entire time they did not intend to compensate or credit plaintiff for such work."

Kowalski says that when he learned of the alleged knockoff, he sent the defendants a cease-and-desist letter, but the defendants "did not provide ... assurances" that they would not use his work in their own.Kowalski seeks punitive damages for breach of contract, conspiracy, conversion, unjust enrichment, tortious interference and misappropriation of trade secrets. He also wants his manuscripts returned.

Kowalski is represented by Daniel McCaffery with Friedman Schuman in Philadelphia.

Parent did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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