Tag - dave hester

Storage Wars Dave Hester Settles Lawsuit Against A&E

Dave Hester

Dave Hester settled out of court with A&E Network on his wrongful termination lawsuit.

Ongoing war waged by ‘Yuup’ miser when Original Productions fired Hester from appearing in the fourth season of Storage Wars.

No way would ‘The Mogul’ bow out peacefully when he was axed off the show without a good long whine in which he cried – Nuuup!

Dave Hester then filed a lawsuit against A&E and Original Productions stating,

“The truth is that (producers) regularly salt or plant the storage lockers that are the subject of the auctions portrayed on the series with valuable or unusual items to create drama and suspense for the show.”

That if true would be in direct violation of the Communications Act of 1934.

But it was not true according to the ruling of Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael Johnson when he threw out the claim of Unfair Business Practices back in March of 2013.

To then rub salt to the wound of losing the first round in this lawsuit; Hester was then ordered to pay out $122,692 for A&E’s legal fees for the anti-SLAPP motion he filed.

Anti-Slapp SLAPP stands for Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation. It’s under the first amendment act of freedom of speech. SLAPP can be a civil complaint or counterclaim filed against individuals or organizations.

But Dave Hester lost the first round of the lawsuit to A&E.

Judge however ruled that Hester could continue on with his wrongful termination lawsuit – just word it better and file again, which Dave did. Now for Round 2 of the ongoing lawsuit.

After a very long, drawn out, ordeal - Original Productions and Dave Hester finally settled for an undisclosed amount.

The lawsuit war is over.

Season 6 of Storage Wars will feature the return of the infamous Dave Hester. A&E will premier the new season with back-to-back episodes on Tuesday, August 12, 2014 at 9PM and 9:30PM ET/PT.

A new War has just begun.

Please leave your insightful opinion in the box below.

Fired “Storage Wars” star Dave Hester WINS 2nd Round in A&E Lawsuit

Dave Hester

On Tuesday, September 3rd, LA Superior Court Judge Michael Johnson ruled that the former Storage Wars cast member Dave Hester can proceed forward with his wrongful termination lawsuit against A&E Television and Original Productions.


The former ex-villain of the reality television series wins the second round in this now 10-month lawsuit saga against the network.

First round, the former reality star was ordered by the judge to pay $122,692 for A&E’s legal fees for the anti-SLAPP motion he filed against the production company. OUCH! Sure, let him just get out his wallet and pay in tens and twenties, like for the next twenty years.

Second round, A&E’s argument fell flat in the courtroom:

Dave Hester’s lawsuit interferes with creative casting decisions and its exercise of free speech.


The judge emphasized that the dispute between the reality star and the television executives remains as an “employment dispute.” Dave Hester was set to rake in $25,000-per-episode for the 26 episodes of the fourth season of the show before he was fired.

Judge says the argument ignores the fact that Hester doesn't need to "prove" an actual violation to prevail on his wrongful termination claim. Sort of strange considering California is a no-fault state, which means an employer can just fire you in a *snap.*

However, Dave was fired for reporting "reasonably based suspicions."


What were these reasonably based suspicions or illegal conducts by A&E and Original Productions, you ponder?

Dave Hester claims A&E fired him off the show in retaliation just days after he complained about the staged scenes by the executives. Here is how he claims the show was rigged:

  1. Producers planted items inside storage units up for auction to enhance drama for the show.
  2. Which cast member would win a storage unit was predetermined before the show was filmed.
  3. Cast members were told which lockers to bid on, how much to bid, and the production company would then occasionally finance the bids of the weaker cast members.

The judge writes:

"Whether Plaintiff’s suspicions were reasonably based and made in good faith are factual questions that cannot be decided on demurrer." 

Judge also states:

"Plaintiff’s claim for punitive damages contains sufficient factual allegations. Whether or not Plaintiff can prove his allegations is not the function of a motion to strike."

In plain English, A&E cannot have this wrongful termination lawsuit dismissed.

Now Dave Hester is now suing to recover the money he would have made during season four had he not been fired. He seeks $750,000 in general damages and will ask for more in punitive damages against the two production companies. That could add up to millions of dollars! Guess what? The judge isn't ruling it out.

Dave Hester, A&E Television and Original Productions will go to trial.

Who will win the final round?

Please give us your opinions of this ongoing lawsuit in the comment box below.

Storage Wars: Dave Hester to Pay $122,692 for A&E’s Legal Fees

Dave Hester

On Friday, July 12, Dave Hester was ordered by a judge to pay $122,692 for A&E’s legal fees for the anti-SLAPP motion he filed against A&E.


He lost BIG but Dave caught a break. The judge questioned the submitted legal fees (money grubbing lawyers) from A&E’s legal team of 8 lawyers and 4 paralegals at whopping $138,194; and from Original Productions 3 lawyers at $43,263.

Total legal fees: $181,457!

Combined legal team incurred 354 hours on the anti-SLAPP motion.

The judge however trimmed A&E’s legal fee amount by 30% and Original Production’s by 40%, but that’s still $122,692 Dave Hester must pay out to A&E’s legal team.

SLAPP stands for "Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation." It’s under the first amendment act of freedom of speech. SLAPP can be a civil complaint or counterclaim filed against individuals or organizations.

Unfortunately Dave’s chance to win an anti-SLAPP motion is slim since these motions are highly unsuccessful in court; however they do well to bring awareness to the public arena.

The disgruntled ex-reality star, fresh from being kicked off the show, revealed in the lawsuit that A&E salted the storage units bought on Storage Wars. In layman’s terms the producers planted “items” in the storage units to generate drama and intrigue to increase ratings and interest.

THAT was the public awareness Hester wanted to come to the fore.

Dave’s stance was that Storage Wars made him look less adept than fellow bidders through “interference and manipulation of the outcomes of the auctions shown.”

Dave Hester then slapped an anti-SLAPP motion against A&E.

He lost.

Judge slapped Dave Hester with a $122,692 legal bill!

But it’s not over.

Dave Hester’s lawsuit is a five-part claim (sort of like a very costly mini-series). Pending lawsuit includes “claims of breach of contract and good faith.” Judge also gave Hester the chance to collect more evidence and re-file his wrongful termination claim.

The Dave Hester vs. A&E lawsuit saga continues…

Tell us what you think of the latest development in the Hester vs. A&E lawsuit in the comment box below.

Storage Wars: Twitter Wars Dave Hester vs. Dan Dotson

dan dotson dave hester

Storage Wars was civil this past season so why the animosity on Twitter? Think about it. Who loved to stir the pot on the show.

Dave Hester

Dave riled Dan Dotson on Twitter after Radar Online leaked that the Dotsons plot to unite all of the cast members of Storage Wars to demand a bigger salary and a piece of the spin-offs money pie; or everyone walks off the show.

Not sure how A&E weighs these threats/rumors when Darrell Sheets, Dan & Laura Dotson may be dropped from the show this coming season.

Not sure Jarrod Schulz or Brandi Passante would jeopardize their standings with A&E now that Barry Weiss has retired.

So why get all fugly on Twitter?

Because they can.


That's the first time I've read that Dave Hester may have recorded a phone conversation with Dan Dotson without Dan's knowledge.

Dave hasn't tweeted since June. The Twitter War is over, for now. What do you think about this Storage Wars Twitter war?

Leave your insightful thoughts and opinions in the comment box below.

Dave Hester’s DUI Conviction

Dave Hester DUI

For many fans, Dave Hester was the best part of Storage Wars. From his obvious knowledge about the industry to his infectious catch-phrase, he definitely helped give the show that special “something” that makes it stand out from all the other reality shows. After his recent problems with the show's creators, however, fans are suffering from his absence.

Dave expressed his concerns about the staged aspects of the show, a maneuver that led to his dismissal from the program. That lawsuit is still working itself out, but his sudden absence from the show has led to a lot of wild speculation among fans and tabloids.

One piece of gossip that's been surfacing throughout the web has to do with a Dave Hester arrest for DUI. Unfortunately for the people looking for a juicy scoop, this is hardly fresh news. In fact, his legal history is even posted on the A&E web page because it was an important stepping stone on his current career path.

In 2005, Dave Hester was arrested for DUI. As part of his recovery, he had to do community service – a common punishment for first-time offenders in the area. Instead of picking up trash, however, he was assigned to work in a thrift store. The experience gave him the inspiration to pursue a resale business of his own, and the rest is history.

To date, it appears that no further Dave Hester arrests have been made. Although he's having problems with A&E, he seems to be staying on the right side of the law. And, unlike some of the other rumors flying around the Internet, he's in no danger of going bankrupt any time soon: Between severance pay, a pending lawsuit and a healthy business, Dave continues to be successful even outside the public eye.

Dave Hester Alleges Storage Wars is Fake

dave hester

People in the storage auction industry have long speculated that the reality TV show Storage Wars is more fiction than reality. Now, a lawsuit from the show's own David Hester has blown the scandal wide open. Whether the fall-out will make a long-term effect in the popularity of these shows remains to be seen, but it's certainly giving the public something to talk about.

The lawsuit started when David Hester approached television executives with concerns that the activities going on in the show were illegal. Specifically, he alleges that the A&E staff “salts” units with pricy memorabilia and collectors items to make the show more interesting.

This is potentially in violation of laws that prevent television producers from fixing “competitions of skill,” such as game shows. This law, an amendment to the Communications Act of 1934, was passed after quiz show scandals in the 1950s. It's debatable whether the law applies to reality television as well, but Hester's concern was enough to lead show executives to terminate his involvement with the show.

Now, having been fired mid-season, Hester is retaliating with a lawsuit to recover his lost wages from the terminated contract – earnings of $25,000 per episode, altogether equaling $2 million in damages. Here are some of the complaints he raises about how the show has been faked:

  • The show “salts” storage units with valuable items to make the program more interesting
  • Some of the units are entirely staged, faked or put together by the show's team
  • The show films some footage while no auction is actually taking place
  • An antique store called Off the Wall Antiques routinely provides items for the show in exchange for being featured in episodes
  • A female cast member underwent plastic surgery at the program's expense to increase her sex appeal
  • Show executives sometimes buy units on behalf of weaker bidders to add interest to the show
  • Many interviews with cast members are scripted or staged

Although the producers have stated in the past that Storage Wars is not fake, there is a preponderance of evidence coming out that seems damning. There are emails, invoices and receipts for items procured by the show's production staff to salt storage lockers. Hester himself was asked to provide such items while filming the first season, and he states he was uncomfortable at the time.

According to Hester and other witnesses, the production staff wasn't shy about salting storage units. In many cases, they would pause filming to place items to be “discovered” in the unit in-between takes. They would do this in front of cast members and bidders, creating plenty of eye-witnesses. Indeed, many people on our own forum have mentioned similar phenomena at taped auctions.

Auctioneer Dan Dotson, who also appears on the Storage Wars show, has insisted that the show is not faked. He states that the units are kept locked prior to bidding and not tampered with. This does not, however, prevent the production staff from salting the unit after purchase, which is when the majority of these activities seem to occur.

Of course, most of this should come as no surprise to people in the industry. Whether it will have any long-term effects for viewers is something that remains to be seen. Most people seem to expect reality television to be at least somewhat scripted, but the knowledge that the show is largely staged may turn viewers off. Of course, if Storage Wars is faked, it's likely that its spin-off series Storage Wars Texas and Storage Wars New York are faked as well. If the lawsuit drives Storage Wars off the air, it's possible that its companion shows – and even competitor shows like Auction Hunters – may suffer a similar fate.

Even if the show isn't canceled, it will be interesting to see whether this revelation turns newcomers away from the auction industry. It will also be interesting to see what other cast members do now that Hester has departed. The bad publicity may damage their business – or it may help drive more customers to their stores. Until the lawsuit is resolved, we can only watch and wait for answers.

So, what do you think about this mess? Leave your interesting and creative responses in the comments section below.

Dave Hester Bio

Dave Hester

Dave Hester, also known as “The Mogul” is an auction-hunter on the popular Storage Wars show on A&E. The 47-year-old thrift store owner has been involved in the industry since 1969, when he accompanied his father to a swap meet. Later, over a five year period, he sold a train set piece-by-piece to interested buyers for an impressive profit. It would be several years before he got truly involved in the resale community, though.

Following a DUI arrest in 2005, Hester needed to complete 30 days of community service at a Good Will store. Inspired, he turned his existing furniture store into a thrift shop, Rags to Riches, which he would stock with items bought at storage auctins and other sources. He shut this down in 2011 to open his own auction house, Dave Hester Auctions. Thanks to his role in Storage Wars, he's earned an impressive celebrity net worth of around $3 million.

Of all the characters on Storage Wars, Dave Hester operates with the highest overhead and greatest risk. He's an aggressive bidder, and some of his tactics – especially his tendency to bid loudly and at the last minute – have earned him a role as an antagonist for many of the show's other buyers. He likes to drive up the prices on auctions to cost his competition more money, and he runs his businesses in a very orderly fashion – which makes sense, considering his military upbringing.

Dave's signature call of “Yuuup!” when placing a bid has made him famous, but also caused some scandals: He fought a legal battle with musician Trey Songz over his right to use the word as his catch-phrase after the rapper sent a cease-and-desist letter. The lawsuit has since been settled, but details of the settlement are still unclear.

Dave Hester was absent from several episodes of the most recent Storage Wars season. Coupled with some heated contract negotiations with AMZ, many fans suspected that Hester would not return to the show. As of right now, though, he's still a regular member of the program, and his son Dave Jr. is a regular participant as well.

NOOOPE! – The Story Behind the Catchphrase YUUUP! and the Following Dual Lawsuits


If you’re one of the avid followers of A&E Storage Wars (or even if you’ve just caught an episode now and then), you’re most likely familiar with one of the stars, Dave Hester.

Dave Hester is painted as the villain in the popular show and rightfully so; he ridicules his fellow bidders in a sneering, snide tone, he often drives the price on auctions up just for the sake of making the other bidders pay through the nose, and he almost always gets what he wants. Hester might not be a villain when he’s off screen and away from the role but that doesn’t prevent him from continuing to go after what he wants: in this case, he wanted the trademark on his signature phrase, “Yuuup!”

Hester filed for the trademark on this catchphrase in 2011 and began creating merchandise to sell to his fans revolving around this word. For those unfamiliar with the show, Hester often waits until the very last moment in an auction and then will yell out his catchphrase – annoying his fellow bidders and driving the price up on the unit in question.

Hester was all set until Tremaine Neverson (more popularly known as Trey Songz) found out about the trademark. Songz has used “Yuuup” in his music since 2009; albeit in what Hester’s lawyers claimed to be a slightly different way.

Songz is a rapper, producer, and song-writer that earned the nickname Trigga Trey as well as being called a heart-throb by a few different young women. Songz popularity did not come overnight but grew steadily and continues to do so, even though he’s now over 27. Songz did not file a trademark on the way he used Yuuup! in his songs but this did not keep him from sending Hester a cease and desist letter!

Hester received the cease and desist letter but immediately went to a judge, asking that he still be allowed to use the phrase and that he be allowed to continue to have merchandise produced revolving around the trademark.

In retaliation to Hester’s request, Songz moved forward swiftly, actually suing the A&E star for the use of the word. Hester claims that Songz forgot to file for the trademark – and once again, that the word is actually different from the way that Hester uses it. It is quoted that the differences are that Songz use “resembles an animal-like or nonhuman squeal which begins with a distinct ‘yeeee’ sound before finishing with a squeal=like ‘uuuup’ sound, and is distinct and different from Hester’s more monosyllabic-sounding guttural auction bidding phrase.”

Hester rose up to meet Songz’ challenge in this case though and counter-sued, filing a suit for damages against Songz which would award him some monetary value as well as banning Songz from interfering with Hester and the way that he wants to say the word.

Recently, the two stars have reached a settlement for both claims. It is undisclosed exactly what the agreement was or what money would be exchanged over this phrase.