Monday, November 08, 2004

Jury Selection Postponed In $25M Lawsuit Involving Princess Diana

POSTED: 10:16 am PST November 8, 2004
UPDATED: 10:29 am PST November 8, 2004

LOS ANGELES -- Jury selection -- set for Monday -- was postponed to Wednesday in the Los Angeles trial of Franklin Mint's $25 million malicious-persecution lawsuit against a charitable memorial fund set up in honor of the late Princess Diana.

The reason for the postponement was not immediately available.

Princess Diana's estate sued the Mint in 1998, claiming the collectibles company violated its "exclusive rights" to her name and image by putting out a "Limited Edition Commemorative Plate" of the princess following her death in a 1997 car crash.

In 2002, a 9th Circuit Court of Appeals panel unanimously found that the trustees of the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund and the executors of her estate had no basis for the claims they filed against the Mint.

The judges found, among other things, that the law of Great Britain, where Princess Diana lived, does not recognize post-mortem right of publicity claims.

The memorial fund, which was established to accept donations for various charities with which Princess Diana was associated during her lifetime, announced in July 2003 that it would have to suspend its charitable donations as a result of the costly legal battle.

Representatives for the Mint have said the lawsuit is not about money and that any damages would be donated to charity after collecting court costs.

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