Local production company under fire
Posted: January 26, 2013
The Winchester Star
WINCHESTER — A city businessman and his company are suing a Frederick County television production firm for wrongful termination and fraud.
Curtis Fleming of Cross Junction and his TV production corporation Fly Rod Fishing Explorations Inc. are under fire in two suits filed Wednesday — one in Winchester Circuit Court and the other in Frederick County Circuit Court.
The first, initiated by city resident and former City Council member Arthur “Art” Major, claims wrongful termination after he became a 50/50 shareholder in the corporation.
“On or about Aug. 15, 2012, Major was terminated by letter by Fleming in his capacity as [chief development officer] of the corporation and was notified that his stock in said corporation had been redeemed and that he was no longer a shareholder in said corporation,” the city suit states.
The lawsuit adds that Major paid valuable consideration to the company by lending money to cover necessary business expenses as stipulated in a Stockholder Agreement.
The suit against Fleming alleges that he terminated Major without proper authority and in contravention of the stockholder and bylaws — thereby causing him great financial harm in loss of income and injury to reputation.
Major also alleges in the suit that Fleming “unjustly benefited from the wrongful redemption of [his] stock without compensation.”
Finally, the suit states that Fleming committed a breach of contract.
Major is seeking $300,000, plus attorney’s fees. The amount of the loans he made to the corporation is more than $70,000, according to the suit.
The second lawsuit was filed by a company that Major is a part of, 44 Outdoors Inc.
According to the suit, 44 Outdoors is a corporation that specializes in creating television programming featuring R. John Riggins, a member of the NFL Hall of Fame who was a star running back for the Washington Redskins in the 1970s and ’80s.
The corporation and Fly Rod Fishing Explorations Inc. entered into a contract Feb. 23, 2012, in which Fleming agreed to produce a series of programs for 44 Outdoors — to be broadcast on cable television.
Before entering the contract, Fleming allegedly repeatedly represented to 44 Outdoors that his corporation had the experience, ability and expertise to produce television programs that could be submitted to networks and marketed to sponsors and advertisers for the purpose of creating a viable series.
“Defendant knew that their representations as to their experience, abilities and expertise were false when made,” the suit states.
The suit also states that the defendants were to be paid $135,000 for their services, and were paid $35,000 for the first installment.
It alleges that Fleming and his corporation failed to produce the program in accordance with their representations.
44 Outdoors is seeking no less than the $35,000 it already paid to Fleming in the suit — which alleges fraud, constructive fraud, breach of contract and unjust enrichment.
Major — in a phone interview Thursday — declined to comment about the suits, other than to say that he is very confident in the claims and looks forward to having the case before a jury.
Fleming could not be reached for comment.
— Contact Melissa Boughton at firstname.lastname@example.org