Barbie Maker Mattel and Bratz Maker MGA Find Unusual Common Ground on Insurer Suit

Categories: Court
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Now we know why MGA keeps dragging Mattel back into a Santa Ana federal court that has already awarded the Bratz doll maker $310 million for damages, attorney fees and other court costs associated with a seven-year, back-and-forth battle with the larger company known for Barbie dolls.

MGA's insurers have filed court documents asserting they deserve a cut of that award, too.

The original MGA-Mattel dispute was over copyright and trade secrets, and over the past seven years trial court and appellate decisions went both companies' ways.

Chick Fight! Chick Fight! Barbie vs. Bratz

When the smoke cleared, a Santa Ana jury had awarded the Bratz maker $85 million, and U.S. District Judge David Carter tacking on another $85 million in exemplary damages. MGA then asked Carter to award $200 million for its attorneys, of which $70 million was to go to "net of insurance reimbursements." Carter settled on $137 million in attorneys' fees and other costs.

Bratz Maker MGA's Total Take From Barbie Sugar Daddy Mattel? $310 Million

MGA then sought $1 billion from Mattel through an anti-trust lawsuit that Carter promptly tossed like a little girl discarding a Barbie missing her head.

$310 Million from Mattel Enough for Bratz Doll Maker MGA That Wants $1 Billion: Judge

Naturally, because this goddamn case will never end, Mattel has appealed to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, where the matter is pending

Barbie v. Bratz, Part XVI: Mattel Wants Off the Hook for MGA's $310 Million Payday

MGA's insurers, which include Crum & Forster Specialty Insurance and National Union Fire Insurance Cos., then filed their paperwork in Carter's court seeking $80 million from the attorneys fee award.

In a rare display of unity in this divisive case, MGA and Mattel jointly asked Carter to deny the motion on grounds that there is an appeal of the whole thing pending. Carter agreed the insurers' motion was untimely, saying it would take a separate lawsuit to address their claims.

So, on June 13, the insurers sued MGA, and if Carter thought he was going to be able to ride off in the pink Barbie car to escape this dollhouse nightmare, he was sadly mistaken.

The insurer's suit was assigned to Carter's court.

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