$154K Later, Preschool Done with Disney Drama
After a year and a half of back-and-forth, the legal battle between Camelot Kids Preschool and the Disney family has finally ended. The two parties settled out of court in April for a mere $12,000, less than a tenth of what the preschool paid in legal fees—$154,000, according to recent court documents.
Walt Disney’s great nephew Tim Disney and his wife Neda sued Camelot and its director Renae Plant in 2015, when their daughter was expelled from the preschool after they discussed a rash of teacher firings with other parents and on social media.
According to the Disneys’ claim, the expulsion constituted fraud, as Camelot’s written policy encouraged parental involvement in the school.
However, the same document also notes that Camelot, as a private school, has the right to expel a child “without cause and without the necessity to provide reason” at any time.
According to Camelot’s attorneys, the parties reached an informal settlement agreement in February of 2016, while the Disneys’ attorneys claimed that in the absence of an official signed document, no settlement existed.
The result, according to court documents filed by Camelot, was “the bleeding of attorneys’ fees on a settled case” for over a year.
However, according to the same court documents, the Disneys’ attorneys told Camelot in 2015 they would not file suit if the school paid $10,000, either to the fired teachers or an undisclosed charity, an offer Camelot declined.
In addition to the cost of the settlement and legal fees, Camelot claimed an independent accountant determined bad publicity from the Disneys’ social media postings had already cost the school $497,000 in lost tuition revenue due to decreased enrollment before the suit was filed.
Court documents did not reveal what the Disneys spent on litigation, and the family did not return a request for comment on deadline.