The California Supreme Court shot down Disney’s appeal of document destruction sanctions related to the decade-long legal battle with the Slesinger family over Winnie the Pooh royalties.
Yesterday’s ruling follows on the heels of last November’s rejection by the California Court of Appeals. A major blow for Disney, it means that the jury will be instructed to accept as fact the Slesinger versions of events when the case goes to trial later this year.
In 1961, Shirley Slesinger Lasswell granted Winnie the Pooh rights to Disney in exchange for a percentage of the royalties. The family holds that it has not seen its fair share of the billions in annual revenue the studio is reportedly reaping from the property.
It is estimated that Disney destroyed over one million documents related to Winnie the Pooh after the family had requested their production.