A Los Angeles judge has thrown out a former "Storage Wars" star's claim of unfair business practices and said his claim of wrongful termination needs to be more specific.
Former star David Hester sued the production company that makes the A&E reality show, Original Productions and A&E Television Networks, the show's distributor, last December alleging wrongful termination and unfair business practices. His lawsuit claims "that nearly every aspect of the series is faked" including salting, or planting, the storage lockers with merchandise.
Hester claimed that through "interference and manipulation of the outcomes of the auctions shown," producers of the show made him look less adept at his job than his competitors. A&E denied the allegations and asked that the unfair business practices complaint be thrown out, according to court documents.
The judge agreed with A&E, saying the show is protected under expressive free speech. He said Hester can't make the unfair business practices claim because it "arises entirely out of noncommercial conduct concerning the production and broadcast of an expressive work."
The judge has allowed Hester to gather more evidence and refile his wrongful termination claim. The other charges in his lawsuit, including breach of contract, were not addressed.
"Storage Wars" is the most watched show on A&E, and one of the most popular shows on television. It's one of the highest-rated programs on cable, and has been on for four seasons.
Hester was referred to on the program as "The Mogul," and according to his biography on the A&E website, "he's a big fish in the game," who "of all the characters … has the largest operation with the largest overhead."
The show "follows an eclectic group of modern day treasure hunters who earn their living attending public auctions of the contents of abandoned storage lockers in the hopes of finding buried treasure in those lockers, which they can then resell for a profit," according to the lawsuit filed by Hester.Also Read