Repeat that, please.
A Laguna Beach resident who claims he is hard of hearing has filed two lawsuits on behalf of more than 3 million California residents who purchased a DVD that was advertised as having closed captioning but lacked that element on the movie's special features.
In one suit, filed against Universal Pictures and two of its subsidiaries, Russ Boltz claims that at least two of the studio's movies, "The Bourne Supremacy" and "Seabiscuit," were marked with grids that said, "Captions: English," but did not include captioning in special features, such as actor interviews, outtakes and director comments. Most of the DVDs had closed captioning for the main feature, however.
He said other DVD makers have issued a disclaimer on their packages: "Bonus Materials Not Rated or Captioned."
Boltz filed a similar suit against Sony Pictures Entertainment and several of its subsidiaries, including Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. In that case, he claims that the DVD packages for "Spider-Man," "xXx," "Die Another Day", "Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde" and "Barbershop" are labeled with a "CC," a "Q" or the phrase, "closed captioning for the hard of hearing" but do not provide that service on their special features.
Boltz said the "inability to understand uncaptioned features creates feelings of frustration and anger among people who are hard of hearing and isolates them from their friends and family without hearing loss when they watch DVDs together," according to the suit.
Both suits were filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, where Boltz has a year-old suit alleging similar claims against Walt Disney Co. and its subsidiaries, including Buena Vista Home Entertainment.
Sony Corp.'s Sony Pictures and Harry Shulman, a lawyer for Boltz at Mills Law Firm in San Rafael, declined to comment. A call to Universal Pictures, a division of General Electric Co.'s NBC Universal, was not returned.
UCLA School of Law has created the first endowed chair in the city of Los Angeles to be established by a gift from a law firm rather than an individual lawyer.
Paul Hastings Janofsky & Walker LLP, based in Los Angeles, gave $1 million to the school to establish the chair, which should be filled by the spring.
"I've just appointed a committee," said Michael Schill, dean of the UCLA School of Law. "That committee will start looking at faculty here, as well as faculty in other schools, to determine who would be the best recipient of the chair."
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