Stan Lee, the comic book legend, resolved a lawsuit that threatened his control over POW! Entertainment
Comic book legend Stan Lee has resolved a lawsuit with two former shareholders who sparked a multimillion-dollar dispute that challenged Lee's control over his company POW! Entertainment.
The settlement concludes a legal battle that spanned the last year with UltraVision director Ron Sandman and Valerie Barth, a public relations consultant who helped Lee get a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
The pair helped POW!, where Lee migrated his work in 2001, become a publicly traded company by executing a reverse merger with Arturion Entertainment, allowing the company the go public without the arduous chore of registering. Both Sandman and Barth had been powerful shareholders at Arturion and felt that Lee usurped their control after the merger.
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POW! sued Sandman and Barth last year for breach of contract and fraud, alleging they owed the company more than $1.15 million from a subscription agreement through which they acquired three million shares of stock.
Barth retaliated, countersuing Lee through her company Media Dynamics Inc. and alleging that, at the time of the merger in 2004, Lee and other top executives at POW! conspired to inflate the worth of their company's assets and violated dozens of security laws.
Though the feud is coming to a close, Lee is still embroiled in a lawsuit with Stan Lee Media Inc., the namesake company he left in 2001. Three months ago, the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals denied the company's filing asking the court to vacate a decision in a settled dispute between Lee and Marvel Enterprises.
SLMI could still sue Lee over allegations that the comic book artist illegally diverted intellectual property, including the rights to several of his superhero characters.
There is also a second lawsuit filed in 2007 and pending in a California federal court, which was held up until the appellate court reached a decision. A legal conference to determine how to move forward on the case is scheduled for next month.
The Hollywood Reporter first reported the news.