Screenwriter Douglas Jordan-Benel has filed suit again Universal NBC, Blumhouse Productions, United Talent Agency, and others, claiming copyright infringement and breach of implied-in-fact contract based on his script for a film called Settler's Day. The plot of the film according to the lawsuit:
"A family must withstand a siege of its fortified home on the one night of the year that killing is legal."
Sound familiar? That's right; Jordan-Benel is claiming that his script was taken and turned into The Purge without giving him credit for the idea. (You can see the lawsuit here). In order to withstand a copyright infringement claim, the plaintiff must show "substantial similarity in expression rather than some congruity in generic ideas." However, those that have seen the script for Settler's Day think the law is on Jordan-Benel's side, and both scripts are too similar to claim a coincidence. The lawsuit is asking for, "profits no less than $5 million, credit and a preliminary and permanent injunction." That is a large chunk of change and causes huge problems for the studios and production companies behind The Purge series. An injunction alone can cost a studio a lot of current and future profit.