NEW YORK, Aug. 27 (UPI) -- A professional arbitrator has ruled Jeremy Piven didn't violate his contract by dropping out of the Broadway revival of "Speed-the-Plow" for health reasons.
Piven, who left the show in December, had been under contract for eight performances a week through Feb. 22. His doctors argued the Emmy Award-winning TV star had to quit the play because he had dangerously high levels of mercury in his system due to his appetite for raw fish but producers said he wanted out of his contract because he was bored -- and his abrupt departure left the production in the lurch.
E! News said an arbitrator Thursday ruled in Piven's favor, believing the medical professionals who testified on the actor's behalf. The arbitrator also pointed out the producers' doctors didn't examine Piven before, after or during his three-day hospital stay when he was treated for mercury poisoning.
"I'm pleased with the outcome of the arbitration and to be completely vindicated in this matter based on the facts and the medical evidence," E! News quoted Piven as saying.
The National Fisheries Institute Inc. cautioned the media to "treat Piven's statements with skepticism."
"It is important to note that no peer-reviewed medical journal has ever published any evidence of a case of methylmercury poisoning caused by the normal consumption of commercial seafood in the United States," the trade group said in a statement Thursday.