Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Former "Storage Wars" Star Tries to Put Show's Producers in Storage

Photo Courtesy of therealityjunkies.com
Since December 2012, A&E network and former “Storage Wars” member Dave Hester has
 been in a legal entanglement based on his firing from the show for complaining that producers put valuable items in certain garages to make the show more interesting.

Hester, with the help of his legal team, filed the lawsuit on the grounds of the Unfair Business Practices, which, in California, states:

        “As used in this chapter, unfair competition shall mean and include any unlawful, unfair or fraudulent business act or practice and unfair, deceptive, untrue or misleading advertising and any act prohibited by Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 17500) of Part 3 of Division 7 of the Business and Professions Code” (Business and Professions Code, Section 17200).

While some of the issues brought to the courts have not been ruled upon yet, the Los Angeles Superior Court has sided with the network on the charges made by of the Unfair Business Practices. According to a March 13th report on Yahoo.com, Hester did not provide enough information and evidence to stake a claim that the First Amendment does not protect the network’s rights. Judge Michael Johnson, who oversaw the case, said that Hester did not provide “any citation to a particular policy within the Act” (Kenneally, 2013).

Even though one of the charges has been thrown out by the L.A. Superior Court, Hester and his legal team has argued that the network had violated the Communications Act of 1934, which states:

  “It shall be unlawful for any person, with intent to deceive the listening or viewing public--(1) To supply to any contestant in a purportedly bona fide contest of intellectual knowledge or intellectual skill any special and secret assistance whereby the outcome of such contest will be in whole or in part prearranged or predetermined” (Communications Act of 1934, Section 508 [47 U.S.C. 508], page 246).

Johnson, however, did not agree with Hester’s legal team, saying that, once again, Hester and his legal team’s argument was unpersuasive.

This sort of lawsuit is unprecedented, as the only other reality show to ever hit the courts was due to a claim that a blogger was trying to induce contestants of The Bachelor to give him spoilers, a clear breach of contract for the participants. The ruling that comes down from the Storage Wars case may ultimately clarify later whether or not producers can claim that their show is truly reality, when in actuality that is not the case. 

1 comment:

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