Thursday, October 09, 2014

Same Judge, New Lawsuits

From Variety:

Doubtful that DreamWorks Animation, Disney, Sony Picture Imageworks, Lucasfilm and others would call it a case of the more the merrier but the potential class actions against them are now connected – or at least at the same bench. In a move that could see the actions move ahead faster, Judge Lucy Koh has agreed to preside over the second lawsuit against the studios over allegations of an illegal anti-poaching and wage suppression deal they had going for years.

It can’t make the animation studios happy that the judge who rejected Apple and other tech companies’ $325 million settlement attempt to end a similar case against them is now overseeing their fate in these two cases.

Last month, Koh agreed to the request from former DWA effects artist Robert Nitsch Jr. that the Northern District of California federal judge be reassigned his class action. Nitsch’s basic argument was that his September 8 filed antitrust class action complaint was “related” to the High-Tech Employee Antitrust Litigation case that Koh had been presiding over that for the past several years.

Obviously the Judge agreed. ...

There are a number of lawsuits percolating around animation studios' wage suppression program. We're aware of the law firms working on some of them, and when artists come to us with a complaint about being mistreated by this cartoon studios or that cartoon studio, we refer them to a law firm, the better to participate in any pending lawsuits.

We continue to monitor the unfolding situation. (Based on what we've learned, there was collusion between studios ... and a coordinated effort to keep wages artificially low. Free enterprise now and FOREVER!)

But right now, we're waiting to find out what the attorneys uncover.


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