Studio Developers Sue Investment Firm
The developers of the studio that is home to “Ally McBeal” sued Shamrock Holdings Inc., contending that the Disney family’s investment firm cut the developer out of the studio’s monthly cash flow. The suit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, says plaintiffs Ronald Flesch and Alice Neuhauser are entitled to $1.5 million, which is 15% of the studio’s accumulated monthly cash flow since it opened. The suit alleges breach of contract and fiduciary duty, fraud and negligent representation. Two-year-old Manhattan Beach Studios is home to “Ally McBeal,” “The Practice” and other shows. Burbank-based Shamrock was not available for comment. Shamrock makes investments for the family of Roy E. Disney, the vice chairman of Walt Disney Co. and the nephew of its founder. Plaintiffs Flesch, a real estate developer, and Neuhauser, a motion picture financier, say in their suit they came up with the idea for the studio in 1996. The plaintiffs formed a joint venture in which they and Shamrock would share 50% of the venture’s ownership as general partners, with the other half going to investors, the suit said. The plaintiffs allege that Shamrock, not the joint venture, later took title to the studio site in its own name and prevented them from becoming equity partners in the studio.