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Local News in Brief : Universal, Garner Settle Out of Court

Actor James Garner’s $16.5-million lawsuit against Universal Studios, scheduled to go to trial Monday after a six-year wait, was settled out of court Thursday for an undisclosed amount.

Garner sued the Universal City studio for fraud, deceit and breach of contract for paying the actor what he said was a mere fraction of the 37.5% of earnings from reruns and foreign sales of his 1974-80 TV series “The Rockford Files” promised by his contract. Garner had charged that creative bookkeeping on the part of Universal had cheated him out of his share of the show’s net profits in syndication, leaving him with $249,000 out of gross revenues of $119 million.

“I can live with this deal, and live very comfortably,” Garner said in a prepared statement. Although it was part of the terms of Garner’s agreement that the amount of the settlement not be revealed, Garner had previously turned down an offer from Universal of more than $6 million.


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