Trials and Litigation

Lawsuit Over 'Hurt Locker' Story Is Tossed

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A federal court judge in Los Angeles has dismissed a lawsuit against the makers of the Oscar-winning film “The Hurt Locker” by an Iraqi bomb disposal expert who alleged that he was the basis for the movie’s main character.

U.S. District Judge Jacqueline Nguyen also ordered the plaintiff, Sgt. Jeffrey Sarver, to pay the filmmakers’ attorney fees for defending the lawsuit, Reuters reports.

“The value of ‘The Hurt Locker’ unquestionably derived from the creativity and skill of the writer, directors and producers who conceived, wrote, directed, edited and produced it,” Nguyen wrote in her order of dismissal.

Sarver’s attorney, Todd Weglarz, said he would appeal.

But Jeremiah Reynolds, who represented Oscar-winning screenwriter Mark Boal and director Kathryn Bigelow, called the ruling “a huge victory” for filmmakers who can now feel comfortable using real life events as the inspiration for their films.

“No artist should ever be forced to create entire fictional worlds that have no basis in reality simply because they fear the threat of meritless lawsuits,” he said.

Boal wrote “The Hurt Locker” after being embedded with a bomb disposal unit in Iraq for an article in Playboy magazine. The film won six Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Original Screenplay.

Sarver had claimed that the character played by Jeremy Renner was based on him.

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