Homeowner, 92, Sues Paramount, Claims ‘Maniac’ Crew Acted ‘Recklessly’ While Shooting At His Long Island Home
Sidney Price of Long Island, New York’s Valley Stream is claiming that the film crew from the upcoming Netflix series Maniac trashed his home last year after he was paid to let them shoot at his house.
The 92-year-old filed a lawsuit against the series’ producers, Paramount Pictures, on Thursday, July 19, at the Eastern District Court in Central Islip, reported Newsday.
He is seeking an undisclosed amount of money for compensatory and punitive damages for breach of contract, trespass, conversion, infliction of emotional distress, and negligence.
In the federal lawsuit, the World War II vet said he was paid $15,500 for a 10-day shoot, including the preparation, actual filming, and wrap-up.
The contract Price had with producers stated that his property would be “in as good order as when received by the company, reasonable wear and tear excepted” when they are finished using his home.
He also reportedly met with a producer who said that only the first floor of his home would be used during the shoot, noted Courthouse News Service.
However, he claims the crew members were “extreme and outrageous” during the shoot, which took place in September of 2017.
“Throughout the course of its access to the residence, Paramount breached the Location Agreement in multiple ways,” it is stated in his lawsuit, according to the New York Post.
“Paramount also acted negligently and with willful disregard to Plaintiffs’ rights.”
According to the suit, the attorney and certified public accountant claims that the crew were in breach of the contract by filming in unauthorized locations; damaging and/or destroying personal valuables and collectors’ items; moving 20-30 boxes filled with his belongings from the garage onto trucks that drove away; damaging concrete steps; breaking a fence; and removing decades-old bushes that were 10-feet high and planting “unsightly” shrubs that were only 3-feet high.
“Among the missing items are: photos of Sidney Price’s parents, aunts, uncles, and other family members, some of whom were Holocaust survivors,” the complaint states. “Such photos depicted numbers branded onto their arms by the Nazis while imprisoned in a concentration camp. [Price] now has no such photos to pass down to his grandchildren.”
He also cannot locate photos of his late wife, Lillian Price, and videos of his grandchildren’s bar and bat mitzvahs.
He also said the crew “recklessly” damaged boxes containing various memorabilia that the family was planning on selling, including a $1,500 poster signed by actor Harrison Ford, and autographed baseballs, footballs, basketballs, posters, and guitars.
Additionally, per the lawsuit, his son, Richard Price, “demanded that nothing should be loaded on a truck.”
However, the Price family said a worker told them, “We’re Netflix. We can do what we want.”
The younger Price allegedly tried to file a complaint with the police at the time of the shoot but was told by a police officer that it was a “contractual dispute” that did not necessitate police intervention.
And, according to the suit, on Sept. 15, Richard had a “heated exchange” with a member of the production team who wanted to remove several windows from the house. While he was able to stop the crew from performing the act, he allegedly suffered a mild heart attack and had to be taken to the hospital.
Based on a Norwegian TV show of the same name, Maniac is a dark comedy about a man who lives a fantasy life in his dreams while he is locked up in a mental institution. The 10-episode series, slated to premiere on Netflix later this year, stars Jonah Hill, Emma Stone, Sally Field, Justin Theroux, Julia Garner, and Jemima Kirke.
Neither Paramount nor Netflix responded to Newsday or the New York Post when the newspapers reached out for comments regarding the lawsuit.