A federal judge in Florida has rejected Warner Bros.' attempts to dismiss a lawsuit brought by the family of Frank William Tyne, the captain of the swordfish boat that vanished at sea, inspiring the movie "The Perfect Storm."
The family sued the Hollywood studio last year for not getting permission from several of the real-life characters whose lives were portrayed in the film starring George Clooney, and then distorting details of the lives of the captain and crew. Family members of two other crew members of the Andrea Gail joined the privacy-rights lawsuit after it was filed in June.
"We have always maintained that fiction as fiction is protected free speech, but fiction masquerading as fact is not," said Stephen Calvacca, an Orlando, Fla. attorney representing the plaintiffs.
Warner Bros. contends that the movie, with more than $183 million in theatrical revenue, was an account of a historic event, and as such, the law does not require it to obtain permission. "This decision was not unexpected," said Zazi Pope, an attorney for Warner Bros. "We will file additional papers to have these unwarranted claims dismissed."