Judge tosses Iraq vet's lawsuit over 'Hurt Locker'

October 13, 2011 - 12:30 PM

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A federal judge on Thursday dismissed a lawsuit filed by an Iraq war veteran who claimed "The Hurt Locker" was based on his experiences as a bomb disposal expert.

The ruling by U.S. District Judge Jacqueline Nguyen ends Sgt. Jeffrey Sarver's case against the producers of the Oscar-winning film, its screenwriter and director Kathryn Bigelow.

Sarver sued over the film days before it went on to win best picture at the Academy Awards in 2010. He claimed screenwriter Mark Boal based the film on him and that he was presented in a false light and suffered ridicule from fellow service members because of it.

Nguyen rejected those arguments and ruled that Sarver was unlikely to win the case if it proceeded.

"Here, the value of 'The Hurt Locker' unquestionably derived from the creativity and skill of the writers, directors, and producers who conceived, wrote, directed, edited, and produced it," Nguyen wrote in her 22-page opinion.

A call to Sarver's attorney, Todd Weglarz, was not immediately returned.

Boal and the producers have repeatedly denied Sarver's claims and sought dismissal of the case.

In court filings, Sarver said using him as a basis for Jeremy Renner's character in the film had harmed his reputation and placed his life at risk.

"Defendants have essentially placed a bulls-eye on the back of my army uniform/bomb suit for my current and future deployments," Sarver wrote in a sworn declaration he signed in Afghanistan in March.

Boal was embedded with Sarver's unit in 2004 and wrote about Sarver and other bomb disposal experts in an article for Playboy magazine titled "The Man in the Bomb Suit."

Sarver claims Boal wanted to stay with him exclusively because he didn't trust other bomb techs.

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Anthony McCartney can be reached at http://twitter.com/mccartneyAP.