LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A former "Love is Blind" contestant has filed a lawsuit against Netflix and the production company behind the hit reality show, saying her love interest on the show turned out to be a "walking red flag."
On Thursday, a judge denied for now a request by Renee Poche for a court order immediately blocking the show's production company from going forward with arbitration of their claims against the plaintiff for allegedly violating her employment agreement.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge James C. Chalfant ruled that attorneys for Poche had not demonstrated an emergency and so there was no basis to issue a temporary restraining order against Delirium TV LLC. The judge said his decision was "without prejudice,'' in this case meaning that Poche is free to file a regularly noticed motion for a preliminary injunction.
Poche filed her own lawsuit on Tuesday against Delirum and Netflix Inc., Delirium sought private arbitration against her for allegedly violating an employment agreement to not be publicly critical of the show.
However, Poche's lawyers maintain that Delirium required Poche, without the advice of counsel, to sign unlawful employment agreement provisions in which she purportedly agreed to waive the company of any liability for employment claims and for her to not disclose any illegal acts she was aware of in the workplace.
Netflix streams the show in which contestants blindly charm one another through words without ever seeing each other. Poche seeks to cancel her contract and also alleges intentional infliction of emotional distress and violation of the state Labor Code.
Poche alleges that on the first night of taping in 2021, the show staff took her phone and other items and put her in a locked hotel room where she could not leave alone. She ended up in a fifth-season "showmance'' with Carter Wall, whom she alleges was penniless and a drug and alcohol addict. According to court documents, Poche said Wall was a "walking red flag."
Poche maintains Wall was abusive.
"As if the illegal confidentiality provisions were not enough, these draconian contracts also include shocking financial penalties for speaking out,'' Poche's lawyers state in their court papers. "Talent, who on average earn less than $10,000 for their participation in such programs, face liquidated damages upwards of $1 million per breach. Said differently, those who seek help as a victim of or witness to abuse will face financial ruin. Left with no other alternative, talent is forced to suffer in silence.''
In a liquidated damages clause, the parties to a contract fix in advance a sum of money to be paid by the defaulting party to the innocent party in the event of a breach.
City News Service, Inc. contributed to this report.