Tag - Lawsuit

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.

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.