Jury Orders Disney to Pay $300,000 in 'Honey' Case
Nov. 13, 1993
LOS ANGELES (AP) _ A jury awarded $300,000 to a television producer who said his screen treatment was the basis for the Walt Disney movie ''Honey, I Blew Up the Kid.''
Paul Alter, producer of ''The Price is Right,'' initially asked for $1 million but said after the Superior Court jury's ruling on Friday that he was pleased with the award.
''I feel marvelous about it. I think (the jurors) could see through all the confusion to the truth,'' he said. ''I thought they might be overawed by the Disney image.''
A Disney spokesman, John Dreyer, said: ''We're disappointed and troubled by the verdict.''
Alter, 62, sued Disney in 1992, saying there were as many as 17 areas of similarity between his 12-page treatment written in the late-1970s and ''Honey, I Blew Up the Kid,'' a sequel to the popular ''Honey, I Shrunk the Kids.''
The lawsuit said Alter submitted the treatment about a toddler who turns into a towering, destructive giant to then-Disney Vice President Tom Wilhite in 1980, but it was rejected.
Disney attorney Howard King said Wilhite was long gone by the time ''Honey, I Blew Up the Kid'' was made. Other writers came up with the idea for the sequel after the first film was an unexpected hit, he said.
Tom Girardi, Alter's attorney, rejected that claim, saying, ''Paul's footprints were all over the film.''
Girardi celebrated the jury's award.
''This verdict says to Hollywood that it will have to start treating artists, writers and productions in a fair fashion,'' he said.