Judge allows “Storm” suit to proceed

The wife and daughters of Andrea Gail captain Billy Tyne crossed a major hurdle in their legal action against Warner Bros. Monday when a Florida judge denied Warner Bros.’ motion to dismiss a lawsuit that the Tyne family and others brought against it following release of the 1999 movie The Perfect Storm. The families had charged that the studio produced the movie without attempting to get permission from them to use the names of relatives who were lost when the Andrea Gail presumably sank during a storm in October, 1991. Warner Bros. had argued that the movie, which starred George Clooney as Billy Tyne, was constitutionally protected since it was based on an actual historic event. The families claim that, except for some brief radio messages from the ship, there is no record of what actually occurred, that the story was therefore fiction and that the names of their deceased relatives were used so that the studio could exploit the film as a “true story.” Also named as defendants in the case are Barry Levinson‘s Baltimore/Springcreek Pictures and Clooney‘s Radiant Productions.