By MATT REYNOLDS, Courthouse News Service, Friday, September 14, 2012
LOS ANGELES (CN) – A longtime TV producer claims in court that his former accountants defrauded him by failing to keep track of money he was owed for creating the '80s sitcom, “Amen.”
Ed Weinberger sued his former business managers Freedman Broder & Company Accountancy Corp.; William Broder; Myers & Associates; and Ronald Myers, in Superior Court.
Weinberger claims he's been a writer and executive producer of “legendary network series,” including “The Tonight Show,” “The Cosby Show,” “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” and “Taxi.”
He says he learned that his former business managers had failed to account for what he was owed for the “Amen” series after he sued the show's producer, Carson Productions, in 2011.
Weinberger claims he struck a deal with Carson Productions in 1989, for fixed and contingent payments for his work on “Amen,” which ran for five seasons, from 1986 to 1991.
William Broder, Weinberger's business manager from 1991-2004, was “aware that Weinberger had received advances against his right to receive contingent compensation and, as time went on, those advances were being recouped by money earned from the exploitation of ‘Amen,'” the complaint states.
Weinberger claims that by 1998 the accountant knew he was owed $1.4 million for “Amen.”
But Broder stopped accounting for the money Weinberger was owed, then told him it could no longer manage his finances because he wasn't earning enough, according to the complaint.
Weinberger's next manager, Myers & Associates, also failed to keep tabs on “Amen,” the complaint states.
Weinberger says that before he sued Carson Productions in 2011, he was unaware that he had recouped his advances and was entitled to contingent compensation.
“Weinberger discovered through the course of the litigation that his advances were recouped sometime in the years 2000-2001,” the lawsuit states.
It adds that Carson Productions refused to pay the writer for roughly 6 years worth of contingent compensation, on the grounds that his claims were barred by the statute of limitations.
Those 6 years were from 2000-2006, Weinberger says, when he was represented by Broder and then by Myers.
“On or about August 18, 2012, the dispute with Carson Productions Inc. resolved following mediation. Weinberger did not receive all he was entitled to receive from Carson Productions, Inc. because defendants had not monitored the status of recoupment or ensured that Weinberger was being paid what he was owed from Carson Productions, Inc.,” according to the new complaint.
Weinberger seeks damages and punitive damages for professional negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, professional negligence, and breach of fiduciary duty.
He is represented by Neville Johnson with Johnson & Johnson of Beverly Hills.
Ronald Myers told Courthouse News on Thursday that he had not seen the lawsuit and declined to comment.
Freedman Broder & Company Accountancy did not immediately reply to an emailed request for comment.
‘Amen' Creator Sues Accountants For Malpractice In Payment Tally
By THE DEADLINE TEAM | Wednesday September 12, 2012
Writer-producer Ed Weinberger, who worked on The Cosby Show, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Taxi, The Tonight Show and others, has sued the accounting firm Freedman Broder & Co. and Myers & Associates for malpractice over their alleged failure to properly monitor Weinberger's contingent compensation for the NBC TV series Amen. Weinberger contends that the accountant-managers should have known and informed the writer-producer that the series had recouped his production advances sometime between 2000 and 2001 and that Carson Productions, which produced Amen, owed him significant compensation. Amen aired from 1986 to 1991. Weinberg sued Carson in 2011 but they settled out of court last month for less than what Weinberg contends he was owed. That's the reason he filed the suit against his former accountants, which you can read here.