Trial of Ovitz Severance Suit Postponed by 2 Days

From Bloomberg News

A judge on Tuesday delayed by two days the trial of Walt Disney Co. investors’ lawsuit seeking to recoup former company President Michael Ovitz’s $140-million severance.

Disney shareholders had asked Delaware Chancery Court Judge William B. Chandler III for more time to examine recently discovered papers about Ovitz’s tenure at the No. 2 U.S. media company before the trial began.

Chandler agreed to postpone the trial until Oct. 20.

“The plaintiffs should be able, in fairness,” to have extra time to evaluate the documents, which Disney officials turned over after a court-imposed deadline, Chandler said.

Disney investors contend that Ovitz, Chief Executive Michael Eisner and a group of current and former Disney directors should be held financially liable for the severance package.

Shareholders contend the severance pay was a waste of company funds because of Ovitz’s poor performance at Disney. Ovitz stepped down in December 1996 as Eisner’s second-in-command.