A lawsuit filed by the Higgins children against ABC, Disney, and the producers of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition continues to wind its way through the courts. It’s a sad story, but the essential facts are this: 1) EM:HE contracted with the owners of the Leomiti family home to redo their house after hearing of the heartwarming story of how the Leomiti’s took in the Higgins family children after both parents died in quick succession. (You probably remember this episode for all the Samoan chants that took place.). 2) The house, cars, cash, and prizes were presented to the combined family group on the show and sometimes in off-air locations. 3) At some point after the house was completed the Higgins children all left and are now facing a difficult time of it on their own. It looks like the courts will have to decide the rest of it.
This was first highlighted on MSNBC’s Abrams show in August of 2005. That’s how slow the courts move folks. Lawyers are now squabbling over whether one of the Higgin’s kids dairies will be admissable as evidence in the case. A trial date has been set for May 14th.
The diary reportedly shows that the Higgins children left on their own rather than choosing to live by the strict rules of the Leomiti parents. That would make it pretty tough to prove that Disney/ABC still owes them a house. Ty Pennington, EM:HE Producers, Disney/ABC et al, might want to be more careful in the future with designated trusts for any children who are awarded prizes/scholarships during the Extreme Makeover.