Judge Throws Out $55 Mil Suit Against "American Gangster"
Last month three former Drug Enforcement Administration agents sued the studio that made American Gangster, maintaining they were slandered by a quote at the end of the film that claimed heroin dealer Frank Lucas' cooperation "led to the convictions of three-quarters of New York City's Drug Enforcement Agency."
According to New York's Daily News reports, Thursday (Feb. 14) Manhattan Federal Judge Colleen McMahon threw out the case, noting that the New York City Drug Enforcement Agency doesn't even exist.
"It would behoove a major corporation like Universal (which is owned by a major news organization, NBC) not to put inaccurate statements at the end of popular films," McMahon wrote. "However, nothing in this particular untrue statement is actionable."
The lawsuit sought part of the film's $130 million box-office gross as damages, along with a statement from NBC telling the truth about the DEA's role in the Lucas case.
Despite being told they don't have a case, the three agents may continue to pursue the matter.
"We will appeal," the agents' attorney, Dominic Amorosa told the Daily News. "The judge was mistaken."
Amorosa also represents retired DEA agent Gregory Korniloff, who sent a cease and desist letter to NBC Universal in November and also demanded a retraction of statements made in the film.
American Gangster hits stores on DVD on February 19th.