MGA Entertainment Inc. filed a request in Riverside federal court Tuesday, asking a judge to grant its request for a mistrial in the company's legal battle with Mattel Inc. over the popular Bratz dolls.
On Friday, it was revealed that a juror in the case made comments about the ethnicity of MGA chief executive Isaac Larian, who came to the United States from Iran.
In court documents filed Tuesday, MGA lawyer Thomas Nolan argued that a mistrial should be granted because the juror "referred to Iranians being 'thieves' and to 'hav(ing) stolen other person's ideas' in a case where Mattel accuses MGA of stealing its ideas." Therefore, Nolan argued that the juror's "vote on the verdict was tainted."
MGA and Nolan were unavailable for an immediate comment and Mattel declined to comment on the pending motion.
The first phase of the contentious battle between MGA and El Segundo-based Mattel ended July 17, when a jury found that former Barbie designer Carter Bryant conceived of the Bratz characters and name while employed by Mattel. The jury also held that MGA interfered with Bryant's Mattel employment contract.
Shares of Mattel dropped 1.2 percent at $20.46 at closing Wednesday.
For reprint and licensing requests for this article, CLICK HERE.