According to the story:
“A judge told lawyers who filed a $30 million (â‚¬22.5 million) lawsuit accusing the makers of the hit movie ‘Borat’ of misleading residents of a remote Romanian village that they must make specific allegations in their lawsuit if they want it to have a chance at success.”
Yeah, when it comes to lawsuits, specific allegations tend to help.
But also from the story:
“The lawsuit alleges that 20th Century Fox Film Corp. and others involved in the film exploited the plaintiffs and other residents of Glod, telling them the film was a documentary about extreme poverty in Romania that would fairly depict their lives, living conditions, occupations, community, heritage and beliefs.”
Sounds pretty specific to me, only it lacks the documents the villagers signed. But:
“Slade R. Metcalf, a lawyer for the movie company, said the lawsuit did not make a specific enough claim on behalf of the villagers to be considered by the court.
“He said the company should not have to turn over documents related to the villagers so lawyers for them could go on a fishing expedition to see if any of the papers were improperly prepared.”
This is the view the judge agreed with, saying she wouldn’t force the papers’ turnover until more specific allegations of misleading statements were made.
So let’s get this straight: The problem with the lawsuit is that it’s not specific enough, but the specific details of the case are protected to prevent a “fishing expedition,” in other words, “getting too specific.”
On a side note, I wonder how much of the allegation hinges on verbal statements that weren’t consistent with the papers, and also how many of those verbal statements the lawsuit brought up.
I’d like to read some of the documents, but the court’s page doesn’t seem to have them (most courts only have rulings, not all noteworthy filings, so that’s not a complaint).
Robert VerBruggen blogs at http://robertsrationale.blogspot.com.