Child Actors Sue Bank of America

LOS ANGELES (CN) – Bank of America illegally allowed withdrawals from “Coogan accounts” for child entertainers, a class action claims in Superior Court.
California’s Coogan law is named after child star Jackie Coogan, who sued his mother as an adult after he found out she had spent the millions he made during the silent film era. Of the $4 million he earned as a child actor, Coogan recovered only $126,000. He went on to play Uncle Fester on the television version of “The Addams Family.”
The Coogan Law was enacted in 1939, but it was ineffective in protecting minor actors’ earnings until several loopholes were closed in 2000.
Under its present form, minors’ earnings from their entertainment work are property of the child, with parents acting as fiduciaries until their children are old enough to control their own money.
In the new complaint, trustees for two minor plaintiffs claim Bank of America bank allowed money to be taken from Coogan accounts before the account holders turned 18.
“Plaintiffs bring this class action on behalf of all similarly situated current and former customers of Bank of America who maintain or have maintained Coogan Trust Accounts with defendants from which defendants have made or allowed withdrawals, including but not limited to withdrawals for monthly service fees, without court approval, at any time in the four years preceding the filing of this action to the present,” the complaint states.

Read on.

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