After nearly fourteen weeks, the cross lawsuits between novelist Clive Cussler and Philip Anschutz (and his production company Crusader Entertainment) have come to an end.
Following eight days of deliberation, the jury returned verdicts--although they reported coming close to telling the judge they were hung.
For background on this case, go here.
Here's what the jury decided:
1) They found that Cussler had breached his contract and must pay Crusader Entertainment (now Bristol Bay Productions) $5 million.
2) They found that Crusader still owed Cussler for the second book in his $20 million two-book deal. However, instead of awarding Cussler the $40 million he was seeking, they gave him $8.5 million.
3) They found that Cussler had fraudulently misrepresented the number of books he's sold during negotiations, but that no harm had been done. Therefore, the jury did not award either actual or punitive damages. Anschutz was asking for $115 million.
Of course, both sides are claiming victory. According to the Los Angeles Times, Cussler's attorney said, "We feel like Cussler is the clear winner."
Meanwhile, Anschutz' lawyer said, "It's a complete victory" for his client.
It sounds like the jury didn't have any sympathy for Anchutz' claims to have lost over $100 million on the movie Sahara. When you make a stupid deal, you can expect to pay.
At the same time Anschutz can take comfort in having seen Cussler thoroughly embarrassed day after day during his testimony on the stand.
Read on. It's a two-post day.