Trygstad, Schwab & Trygstad, a Law Corporation, is
representing entrepreneur and philanthropist Michael Trigg, who
contributed $100,000 to the for-profit web-based purveyor of charity
auctions, Charitybuzz.com, in exchange for "A few lines (speaking part)
in a major motion picture or popular television show." The horror parody
film Scary Movie 5 was selected, and the experience was to
include a private 20-minute meeting with Harvey Weinstein, co-CEO of The
Weinstein Company (TWC). Trigg filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles County
Superior Court for breach of contract, negligent misrepresentation and
unjust enrichment, among other claims, naming as defendants Charitybuzz,
The Weinstein Company (Charitybuzz's "corporate partner" in the
transaction) and the La Jolla Playhouse (the non-profit organization
designated as the beneficiary of the net-proceeds of the donation).
As set forth in the lawsuit, in September of 2012, Trigg responded to
Charitybuzz's "Do Good, Dream Big" program, which was designed
purportedly to fulfill the "dream" experience of buyers/donors in
exchange for a financial charity donation. Charitybuzz acted as the
agent/broker for TWC, the donor of the movie part, and the La Jolla
Playhouse, the charity receiving the funds, for a 20 percent fee.
Unfortunately, as described in the complaint, Trigg's "few lines"
speaking part was marginalized to two words and a nod, and relegated to
another (as yet unreleased) movie, Demonic, due to scheduling
problems with Scary Movie 5. Despite repeated promises of The
Weinstei Company and Charitybuzz that they would uphold their end of
the bargain, when Trigg arrived on set the film's director told him to
just nod (without a line) at the detective character in the scene. The
director was then advised (upon Trigg's prompting) that there was
supposed to be at least a full sentence spoken line. He ultimately
allowed a two-word phrase: "Hey, Detective." As Trigg described it, "I
don't understand why the director had no knowledge of my agreement with
The Weinstein Company and Charitybuzz; the experience was embarrassing
Adding insult to injury, Trigg paid for his flight and accommodations
for the initial film shoot out of his own pocket, only to be told the
filming schedule had changed. He was forced to cancel the trip at
significant cost to himself. He never received reimbursement for the
canceled trip, as he was also promised.
Trigg, who is the founder of Trigg Laboratories, has a long history of
philanthropy. Since its founding in 1989, his company has donated over
$1 million (in cash and products) to over 300 non-profit organizations.
"Charitybuzz misrepresented their 'Do Good, Dream Big' program and
failed to disclose in advance, among other things, that my part could be
reduced to almost nothing or even cut from the film altogether," Trigg
explained. "If I had been informed of all the facts before I gave the
money, I would not have made such a sizeable donation under those
"As a business owner, I understand truth in advertising and providing
products and services as promised. I'm disappointed that Charitybuzz and
The Weinstein Company haven't upheld these simple good faith business
"The entire fiasco reminds me of the Peanuts cartoon in which Lucy
promises to hold the football for Charlie Brown to kick but pulls it
away at the last second-causing Charlie Brown to land on his behind. In
real life we call that 'bait and switch,' which isn't funny-it's just
According to Trigg's attorney, Daniel Kolodziej, the attorney for
Charitybuzz and The Weinstein Company was contacted to attempt a
reasonable resolution, to no avail. Trigg also notified La Jolla
Playhouse of the problem with the donation, but its attorney informed
Trigg's attorney - in effect - that it was not La Jolla
Playhouse's problem that it received the tainted money. Following this
and other unsuccessful attempts to resolve the problems outlined in the
lawsuit, Trigg had no alternative but to take legal recourse. The
complaint was filed on June 30, 2014, in the Los Angeles Superior Court,
Case No. BC550257.
More information about the lawsuit, please contact Daniel Kolodziej
at Trygstad, Schwab & Trygstad, 310-552-0500 or email@example.com.
For media inquiries contact: Dean Draznin Communications 641-472-2257 firstname.lastname@example.org.
[ Back To NFVZone's Homepage ]