The claims against the major toon studios of anti-poaching deals and secret wage-fixing agreements aren’t going away, but DreamWorks Animation, Disney, Sony Pictures Animation, Digital Domain, Imageworks, Pixar, Lucasfilm and others soon will have a little less of a legal battle to deal with. After filing a class action of his own on November 20, animator Van Phan today told his lawyers he wants his complaint dismissed as soon as possible.
“It was never my intent nor would I intentionally agree to be lead plaintiff in this new class action,” says the layout artist. “I thought I was opting in to a pre-existing suit. I didn’t do my due diligence and I made an incorrect assumption,” he told me today, referring to the previous three class actions and now consolidated class action of digital artists Robert Nitsch Jr. David Wentworth, and Georgia Cano. Not that Phan was in the dark about what was being done in his name by a team of lawyers from three different firms. “I did get a copy of the compliant a few weeks ago and I read it, but I just skimmed it,” Phan admitted. It was only when the Madagascar and Ice Age: Dawn Of The Dinosaurs animator read my story of late last week on his complaint that he more clearly comprehended what he had gotten himself into.
“I got the phone call from the lawyers, there was money on the table,” the animator says of how he got involved in any legal action in the first place. “I now see I misunderstood.” ...
The lesson here: Read, don't skim.