We've reported over these many months about former Costa Mesa thrift store king Dave “YUUUP!” Hester suffering legal setbacks in his lawsuit against the makers and presenters of A&E's Storage Wars.
But like an expensive diamond ring plucked from an abandoned storage unit otherwise filled with peanut butter-stained undergarments, the original cast member grabbed a court victory today.
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Dave Hester, Ex-Costa Mesa Thrift Store King, Losing Early in His Suit Against Storage Wars
The former proprietor of Newport Consignment Gallery N Rags to Riches thrift store in Costa Mesa claims the option was not picked up for another season on Storage Wars because he'd complained producers rigged their “reality show.”
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael Johnson, who previously tossed Hester's claim of unfair business practices by Original Productions and A&E Television Networks, ruled today that the wrongful termination part of the suit can move forward. The judge explained he was unconvinced by the defense that Hester's claim infringes on the companies' First Amendment rights.
Hester has alleged in his suit nearby everything on Storage Wars was “faked,” including valuable items being planted in storage lockers. His attorney portrays his client as a “whistleblower.” “They didn't like the fact my client exposed this show as a sham,” Martin Singer, Hester's lead attorney, reportedly told City News Service.
The suit claims Hester warned producers some things they were doing for the camera may even be illegal.
Besides allowing the complaint to move forward, Johnson ruled Hester can seek punitive damages.
Attorneys for the production company and cable network say they will discuss with their clients whether to appeal. Hester's case would he held up until resolution of the appeal.