Production Co. Fights Sanctions Bid Over EB-5 Suit
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A film and TV production company urged a Georgia federal judge on Tuesday not to impose sanctions in a now-dismissed $45 million lawsuit alleging former NBA player Theo Ratliff and others conspired to shut it out of a prospective deal involving the EB-5 program, saying its attorneys did not act in bad faith.
Open Rivers Media Group Inc. argued that even though an Eleventh Circuit panel found its original and amended complaints to be “shotgun pleadings,” the actions of its attorneys were not improper or vexatious and did not extend the proceedings unnecessarily. Ratliff and a number of entertainment-related companies are seeking nearly $70,000 in fees and costs allegedly expended to fend off what they believed to be “baseless” claims by Open Rivers.
But in its brief to U.S. District Judge Steve C. Jones, Open Rivers argued that it would be unfair to impose sanctions for bad faith litigation simply based on a finding of meritless claims at the pleading stage and a premature summary judgment motion filed by the production company. Open Rivers also argued that the entertainment companies’ fee request is too high, as it includes certain self-inflicted costs.