Published September 20, 2007
LOS ANGELES – The actor who played Eddie Haskell on TV's "Leave It to Beaver" is suing the Screen Actors Guild, claiming the union is sitting on $8.1 million it collected from foreign royalties and should distribute to actors.
Ken Osmond, 64, filed a lawsuit Tuesday in Los Angeles County Superior Court accusing SAG of unjust enrichment and violations of the state's business code. The lawsuit seeks class-action status on behalf of at least 30,000 actors and others.
A call to a SAG spokeswoman seeking comment was not returned Wednesday.
Osmond contends that since at least 1996, SAG has collected royalties for use of TV and movie productions outside the United States in the form of levies for video rentals, private copying, cable transmissions and other uses of the productions.
Osmond claims SAG collected the funding on behalf of himself and other actors without obtaining their permission and without telling them it had done so. The lawsuit also contends that the guild has collected more than $8 million but paid out only about $250,000.
"SAG stated that paying out the monies was 'complex,' and that it did not have a system in place to pay out such monies," the lawsuit claimed.
Osmond played the troublemaker on "Leave It To Beaver" in the 1950s and 1960s. He is a retired Los Angeles police officer.