The producer and talent manager is seeking a declaratory judgment over non-compete clauses in a Dec. 31, 2012 employment agreement he signed with Prospect Park when the Boston-based investors came on board late last year. Kwatinetz wants a judge to decide if the "unenforceable non-competition and non-solicitation provision" actually prevented him from working for another company for 5 years and if Prospect and ABRY could get an injunction to force him to work for them for 5 years if he attempted to leave. "The contract also contains a $5,000,000 liquidated damages penalty for a 'breach' of the unenforceable non-competition provision and employment term requirements in the Agreement," According to Deadline Hollywood.
The catalyst of the complaint was a difference of opinion that Kwatinetz has with ABRY over the direction of the company. The disagreement has to do with the future of "AMC" and "OLTL" and whether they will continue or not. Kwatinetz was advocating the continuation of the two series. The producer had his lawyer Michael Taitelman file the complaint not because he intends to leave Prospect Park, says Deadline, but because he wants to explore his options in what is a very complicated and multi-tiered agreement. Kwatinetz continues to work there. PP currently has "Wilfred" with Elijah Wood on FX and "Royal Pains" on USA with drama "Salem" debuting on WGN America in the spring of 2014. The company also has 10 sold scripted pilots in various states of development on both cable and broadcast TV. Non-compete clauses are rampant in show business, but are not often enforced. The reason is that most courts will not stop someone from plying his trade or earning a living.
An actor who has dealt with Kwatinetz says these courtroom antics are just a day in the life of the producer. Prospect Park is going forward with its $125 million dollar lawsuit against ABC. PP says ABC did everything to doom the re-boots. Expect this lawsuit to drag on longer than the 40-year run of "All My Children."
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