Beaver’ actor sues SAG

Beaver’ actor sues SAG
By Leslie Simmons

Sept 19, 2007

Ken Osmond, who played the troublemaking Eddie Haskell on TV’s “Leave It to Beaver,” sued SAG on Tuesday, claiming that the guild has collected more than $8 million in foreign residuals on behalf of its members and nonmembers but has not passed on the profits.

Osmond filed the suit in Los Angeles Superior Court as a proposed class-action case, which, if approved, would allow others in similar situations to participate in the litigation.

“SAG has intentionally collected and took possession of specifically identifiable amounts of monies belonging to Osmond and members of the class,” the suit states. “Further, defendants have held these monies in their sole possession for an unreasonably long period of time, thereby preventing Osmond and the class members access to monies that are rightfully theirs.”

For Osmond, who went on to become a Los Angeles police officer, SAG allegedly has collected money for the overseas exploitation of “Leave It to Beaver.”

In June, SAG allegedly “stonewalled” Osmond and his requests to audit its books and explain how it collects and pays out foreign residuals.

“We have not received a copy of the complaint and have no further comment,” said SAG’s general counsel, Duncan Crabtree-Ireland.

The suit echoes nearly identical proposed class-action suits filed during the past two years by Osmond’s attorney, Neville Johnson, against the DGA and WGA. Those cases also are pending in Los Angeles Superior Court.

Settlement talks are taking place in the DGA case, filed by director William Webb. In the WGA case, an October hearing is scheduled on whether to certify the case as a class-action. That case was filed by writer-director William Richert and the heirs of writers Norman Retchin and Thames Williamson.

It was not until those cases were filed and Johnson contacted SAG that the guild acknowledged it was collecting foreign residuals. According to the lawsuit., an article in SAG’s magazine purportedly said the guild was incapable of paying out the money effectively but warned its members not to collect levies on their own.