(Updated: Tuesday, 5:10 PM/ET) As part of a settlement deal with "Leave It to Beaver" star Ken Osmond, the Screen Actors Guild has agreed to conduct an independent audit of its foreign royalties program, according to a preliminary settlement filing released Monday.
The guild will publicize a list of actors on its website and in the Hollywood trades who may be eligible to receive payments.
In addition, SAG will pay up to $300,000 in attorney’s fees incurred during the two-year legal battle.
In the case, Osmond alleged that the union withheld levies on foreign TV sales, as well as sales of video cassettes, DVDs, and retransmission fees worth millions of dollars from him and other actors.
The deal still has to be approved by a Superior Court judge in the next 60 days. A settlement was announced at the beginning of August, but no details were revealed at the time.
SAG continues to refuse to admit wrongdoing, and said that it was preparing to pay the royalties when Osmond filed suit.
“Screen Actors Guild is pleased to have resolved this unnecessary litigation in its early stages, thereby conserving our resources for critical member-oriented initiatives," Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, SAG general counsel, said in a statement. "Much of the settlement is duplicative of the Guild’s existing program and procedures, such as our existing annual audits of the fund and our membership outreach and education effort.”
SAG said that when the suit was filed, it was less than three months away from distributing the levies, and that any delay was partly attributable to spending several years developing the technology it needed to properly allocate the foreign royalties funds.
Most of the royalty payments for appearing in movies or TV shows that have aired in foreign countries will be on the order of $50, according to court papers. The guild has already paid out over $8.5 million in royalties, and said it plans to pay out the remaining $7.9 million to its members.
The Writers Guild of America quietly settled a similar class action lawsuit over unpaid foreign levies to its members for $30 million in August 2009.
SAG said it will pay foreign royalties through a representative and will respond to compensation requests within thirty sixth months of when they are made. In addition, SAG consented to an annual review of how the payments are being dispensed.