Friday, July 08, 2016

Class Action Settlement, Part Deux

There is now preliminary sign-off on the wage collusion case.

A federal judge gave preliminary approval to a settlement between animation workers and two major animation studios on Wednesday night.

Blue Sky Studios and Sony Pictures agreed to pay animation workers and visual effects producers a total of approximately $18 million under the settlement.

"The court finds that the agreed-upon consideration of $5.95 million for Blue Sky and $13 million for Sony Pictures is fair and reasonable based on the circumstances, risks involved, and significant recovery from two of the companies whose share of employee-years comprise 20.3% of the class," U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh wrote in the order.

Other major studios named in the class action, including Pixar, Dreamworks, Lucasfilm, Disney and ImageMovers Digital, continue to fight the case.

Lead plaintiffs Robert Nitsch, Georgia Cano and David Wentworth stand to receive $10,000 as a part of the settlement.

Of the approximately 10,000 class members in line for a payday, 2,038 have worked at Sony and 578 have worked at Blue Sky, according to their attorney Brent Johnson.

The recovery for each of the class members averages $1,026.

Nitsch's September 2014 lawsuit claims major animation studios colluded to fix wages and restrict career opportunities for artists. ...

It's difficult to know with certainty where this lawsuit will end up. Some of our other fine, entertainment conglomerates continue to fight it, and they are hanging some of their hats on the issue of timeliness. Their argument is that plaintiffs knew of the shenanigans and waited too long to file claims against them.

H/t Steve Kaplan.


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