Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Lawsuit Motion

The Mouse asks for a dismissal.

Disney Board Members Seek End to Shareholder Lawsuit Over Anti-Poaching Pacts

Robert Iger and others defend their roles overseeing a company that allegedly conspired to deny workers in the visual effects community better work opportunities.

... Disney stockholder Eugene Towers brought a stockholder-derivative complaint on behalf of the company. He is asserting Sandberg, Dorsey and other directors breached their fiduciary duties for having "allowed or permitted the Company to affirmatively violate antitrust laws, allowed or caused the Company to disseminate false and misleading statements in the Company's SEC filings and other disclosures" and to have caused "internal control failures."

On Tuesday, Disney board members led by Robert Iger demanded an end to the shareholder lawsuit.

In a motion to dismiss filed Monday, the board members say that the lawsuit is fatally flawed because Towers never made a demand on the board of directors to investigate and determine whether the corporation should bring action against its very directors and officers. ...

I get asked about this from time to time: did the studios conspire to restrain wages? I always say I believe so, but a non-lawyer (me) believing something to be true doesn't make it true.

You also have to prove the allegations. In court.

There's evidence that Pixar and Lucas worked together on the "no poaching" (aka "wage suppression") maneuver, back in the day. There is evidence that Pixar execs worked to get agreements not to raid employees from other studios. There are depositions by Dr. Catmull and George Lucas that point to collusion.

But what the Disney Board of Directors should have known or not known? And when they should have known it? That's a kettle of different-flavored fish. And we'll see what the court does in response to the Mouse's demand.


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