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Jerry Seinfeld defeats lawsuit claiming he stole Comedians in Cars

  • Published at 11:04 pm October 2nd, 2019
Jerry Seinfeld
Jerry Seinfeld arrives for the premiere of the movie “A Star Is Born” in Los Angeles, California, U.S. September 24, 2018 Reuters

US District Judge Alison Nathan in Manhattan on Monday said Christian Charles took too long to sue

Jerry Seinfeld has defeated a lawsuit claiming he stole the Netflix hit Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee” from a former colleague who said he had pitched the idea for the show a decade before its debut.

US District Judge Alison Nathan in Manhattan on Monday said Christian Charles took too long to sue, having waited six years to file his lawsuit after Seinfeld had in 2012 rejected his copyright claim. The statute of limitations was three years.

“Today’s victory is a complete vindication,” Seinfeld’s lawyer, Orin Snyder, said in a statement. “Jerry created ‘Comedians in Cars’ and this lawsuit was nothing but a money-grab seeking to capitalize on the success of the show. We are pleased that the court saw through the noise.”

Charles, who said he had worked with Seinfeld since 1994, said he mentioned the idea to Seinfeld for Comedians in Cars as early as 2002, when pitching a project called Two Stupid Guys in a Stupid Car Driving to a Stupid Town.

He said he reminded Seinfeld of that pitch when the comedian in 2011 said he was mulling an idea that became Comedians in Cars.

Their relationship allegedly broke down after the pilot, which Charles directed, was shot in October 2011, and Charles sought more credit and compensation than Seinfeld wanted to give.

Netflix and Sony Pictures Television are among the other defendants. Comedians in Cars began broadcasting on Crackle, and moved to Netflix last year.

“We are, of course, disappointed,” Peter Skolnik, a lawyer for Charles, said in an email where he also faulted Seinfeld’s alleged “egregious, shabby conduct.” Skolnik said he would speak with Charles to discuss their next steps.

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