Surfing Family Says Lionsgate Owes Them

     LOS ANGELES (CN) – The so-called “First Family of Surfing” sued Lionsgate Television and Polsky Films, claiming they owe it for rights to a $20 million TV project based on the family story.
     Dorian Paskowitz was an Orange County doctor who gave up his practice “to become a professional surfer and for the nomadic and bohemian lifestyle that he lived with his wife and nine children,” his widow says in the July 22 Superior Court lawsuit.
     Juliette Paskowitz is 83. Her husband died last year at 93. She says he signed an option agreement when he was 88, and that the money expected from it was “the single most valuable asset” he had when he died.
     She says Polsky Films signed the option agreement in 2010. It was renewed several times, most recently a few months before Paskowitz died in November.
     The final option agreement expired in June, but Juliette Paskowitz says that Polsky Films and Lionsgate Television have been developing a “high profile, high budget and star studded network television production” based on the family’s story since early this year. She believes Academy Award-winner Jennifer Lawrence is attached to the project, though Lawrence is not a party to the lawsuit.
     Usually when a story option is exercised, payment comes immediately, Paskowitz says, but despite an email from a Lionsgate lawyer stating that the option was being exercised, she says she has not received dime one from Polsky Films or Lionsgate.
     She claims that Polsky told her no payment is due until principal photography begins, which Paskowitz calls inconsistent with industry standards and the wording of the contract.
     She seeks at least $900,000 for breach of contract and slander of title.
     She is represented by Alan Abrams and Natalie Hottle with Abrams Coate in Los Angeles.
     Also named as defendants are Alan and Gabe Polsky.
     None of the parties involved responded to requests for comment.

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