Judge Throws Out Coppola Suit
Oct. 15, 1998
LOS ANGELES (AP) _ A judge threw out the $60 million punitive damage award Francis Ford Coppola won against Warner Bros. over his failed ``Pinocchio'' movie project.
Superior Court Judge Madeleine Flier left $20 million in compensatory damages intact Wednesday but said no substantial evidence of outrageous conduct, malice or fraud exists to support punitive damages.
``This case still has a long way to go,'' Coppola said in a statement. ``It will be on appeal for perhaps two years, and there is many a slip betwixt the cup and the lip.''
The maker of the ``Godfather'' movies and ``Apocolypse Now'' plans to appeal, and Warner Bros. said it will now work to have the rest of the judgment dismissed.
Warner Bros. bought a treatment of the screenplay from a Coppola collaborator in 1991, then threatened to sue any studio that tried to produce the movie even though it refused to pay Coppola to develop the film.
A jury said in July that Warner Bros. had unlawfully interfered with Coppola's attempt to take the project to Columbia Pictures.