In what first seemed like an amicable split, former Rockstar boss Leslie Benzies sued his former employer in April 2016. Benzies alleged he was unlawfully dismissed and was entitled to unpaid royalties in excess of $150 million. Now, the ex-GTA 5 producer has suffered a setback in his case against Take-Two, Rockstar, and Dan and Sam Houser.
As outlined here, Benzies claims the three parties worked together to force him out of both the company and a profit sharing scheme that would have entitled him to an equal three-way split of the ever-growing crime sim series' revenue.
As reported by Gamasutra, however, the New York Supreme Court has ruled that despite the seemingly warm exchanges between Benzies and his ex-employers (recorded here), those exchanges weren't enough to establish the "special circumstances that might give rise to a fiduciary relationship" to warrant the equal share Benzies claims he's owed.
The court has denied or dismissed several of Benzies' claims. "In the absence of a fiduciary relationship, the claims for aiding and abetting breach of fiduciary duty, constructive fraud and negligent misrepresentation cannot stand," states part of the court opinion.
The court has also stated that a 2009 royalty plan "contains no language mandating equal payments," meaning Benzies likely won't get the full royalty payout he's hoping for. But the court has also let several parts of the lawsuit continue.
As detailed here (again, via Gamastura), Benzies "remains entitled to receive certain royalties" as part of his "compensation." The ruling adds: "The amended complaint sufficiently alleges a breach of the 2012 Employment Agreement based on salary and stock allegedly withheld from plaintiff."
The court's decisions so far suggests the case will continue and Benzies will likely receive some form of payout from his former employer—despite that figure being as yet unclear.