The Philadelphia Personal Injury Law Blog

Tyler Perry Sued for 'Stealing' Philadelphia Author's Idea

Tyler Perry is being sued in Philadelphia court for allegedly ripping someone’s idea for use in his movie “Good Deeds,” reports Reuters.

The filmmaker is being sued by Terri Donald, who is better known under her pen-name TLO Red’ness. Donald alleges that Perry stole her idea, which first appeared in her book “Bad Apples Can Be Good Fruit.” In her lawsuit, she alleges that she sent Perry’s company a copy of the book before production began.

Her copyright infringement lawsuit is seeking both monetary damages and injunctive relief. Typically, injunctive relief is awarded when the money damages aren't sufficient to compensate the plaintiff, or when there is a threat of irreparable harm. As opposed to money damages, injunctive relief is where the court orders a party to take an action or to refrain from an action.

In her call for injunctive relief, Donald is asking the film company to include her name in the opening and closing credits of the movie. She is also seeking $225,000 in damages.

While the lawsuit is one of copyright infringement, it's a civil litigation case and will have many issues familiar to personal injury lawyers. Injury law isn't limited to accidents. Injury law is essentially tort law, which seeks to remedy "wrongs" done by one party towards another, in the absence of a contract.

And while this isn't a case involving negligence or recklessness, it is a civil lawsuit where someone was wronged, albeit a copyright lawsuit.

The elements of the lawsuit will share some similarities with fraud lawsuits. The court will likely look at whether Perry had knowledge of Donald's works and how similar Donald's work was to what was presented in the movie.

If a court finds that Dona's work has a strong resemblance to the plot presented in the film, then she could find herself with a nice windfall.

And some recognition.

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