The ousted founders of TV’s “Duck Dynasty” won a round in court Monday in a court battle that’s featured arguments over spending on guns, jewelry, massages and vacations.
The founders of Gurney Productions Inc., the company behind “Duck Dynasty,” succeeded in getting a judge to tentatively issue a preliminary injunction giving them the exclusive authority to manage Duck Dynasty’s day-to-day affairs.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Susan Bryant-Deason also conditionally barred Gurney Productions’ parent company, ITV Gurney Holding Inc., from consummating a buyout of Scott and Deirdre Gurneys’ ownership interest in Gurney Productions.
The judge stayed enforcement of the injunction at the request of ITV Gurney Holding attorney John Burlingame, who said he may seek an order from the 2nd District Court of Appeal directing Bryant-Deason to vacate her order.
Burlingame argued that granting the injunction would be similar to “allowing the fox back into the hen house.”
In a cross-complaint filed Jan. 17 against Gurney Productions, the Gurneys are seeking more than $100 million in damages and control back over the company after they were dismissed in December for allegedly violating a non- competition agreement by forming a separate company, Snake River Productions LLC.
ITV Holding, which began the litigation by suing the Gurneys on Dec. 9, alleges in its underlying lawsuit that the couple used the company “as their own piggy bank for over $1.7 million in personal expenses for guns, jewelry, massages and personal family vacations.”
However, the Gurneys’ attorney, Philip Kelly, argued that his clients successfully ran Gurney Productions for 15 years and generated $50 million in revenues. He said this year was projected to be the firm’s best year yet, but that without the Gurneys’ input, the company is “falling apart. My clients are ready to go back in there today and do what they need to save this company.”
The Gurneys agreed in 2012 to sell all but 38.5 percent of their ownership in Gurney Productions to ITV Gurney Holding.
The Gurneys were present in court for Monday’s lengthy hearing. Deirdre Gurney covered her hands with her face and wept as she heard the ruling. Outside the courtroom, she and her husband hugged another of their attorneys, Michael Weinsten.
—City News Service
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