James Bond Class Action Lives to ‘Die Another Day’

By Perry Cooper

Metro-Goldwyn Mayer and Twentieth Century Fox largely failed Aug. 3 in their attempts to dismiss a putative class action alleging the James Bond box set doesn’t include “all” of the Bond Films ( Johnson v. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. , 2017 BL 271726, W.D. Wash., No. 17-541, 8/3/17 ).

“At this time, the court will ‘Live and Let Die,’” Judge Ricardo S. Martinez wrote for the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington. He denied the bulk of the defendants’ motions to dismiss.

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Mary Johnson alleges the studios falsely represent their James Bond DVD and Blu-ray box sets as including “all” the Bond films, even though they don’t include the 1967 “Casino Royale” and “Never Say Never Again.” MGM owns the rights to those two films but they were produced by a different company than the rest.

The studios argue the word all is “puffery,” and that the packaging includes a list of the films included.

But the court sided with Johnson on this round, finding that a jury must determine whether a reasonable person would expect the two non-canon films to be included in a complete set of James Bond DVDs.

Statman, Harris & Eyrich LLC; and Eisenhower & Carlson represented Johnson.

Lane Powell PC; and Munger Tolles & Olson represented the studios.

To contact the reporter on this story: Perry Cooper in Washington at pcooper@bna.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steven Patrick at spatrick@bna.com

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