Plaintiffs in the Riot Games class action discrimination lawsuit take up new counsel, withdraw settlement plans

    
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A new chapter in the Riot Games legal drama has begun to be written. In August 2019, the class action discrimination lawsuit filed against Riot Games was settled to the tune of a $10 million settlement. Normally that’s case closed, but California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) and Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) claimed the figure should be much, much higher – as much as $400M – and filed their own case against the settlement amount.

A judge was scheduled to rule on the validity of this intervention by the DFEH and DLSE, but the case has since been pushed back to a later unconfirmed date. In the meantime, class action representatives Melanie McCracken, Jessica Negron, and Gabriela Downie have obtained new legal counsel in the form of women’s rights attorney Genie Harrison and have withdrawn the $10 million settlement agreement.

Genie Harrison is the very same lawyer who brought action against the Weinstein Company in the wake of the #MeToo movement. She is joined by plaintiffs’ employment lawyer Joseph Lovretovich. Both are now seeking expert analysis to determine a more appropriate figure for the settlement. “Our well-qualified statisticians are already analyzing pay data,” says Harrison. “We intend to recover the compensation due to the women of Riot Games and achieve institutional reform, in order to level the playing field for women.”

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Tuor of Gondolin

Looks like someone wants more money.

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Utakata

Everyone wants more money….so that’s kinda a Captain Obvious statement. The question is whether they are entitle to more money. And it appears they are. So this is a wheels of justice dynamic, and not one of greed, inherent, perceived or otherwise.

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Tuor of Gondolin

Entitled is a tricky word. They think they can get more money, or more likely the felt they didn’t get enough, and now they’re going to try for more.

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Utakata

Entitled in a legal sense and not in an internet sense. Although that should of been an obvious one, Cap. Just saying. o.O

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cursedseishi

You keep saying ‘they’, while ignoring the elephant in the room here.

‘They’, as in the original plaintiffs in the suit, didn’t push for the $400+ mill. The state itself intervened, or more specifically the branches of the state in charge of employment and fair labor and pay. Both of which are charged with enforcing laws regarding civil rights. And as the original reason for the suit falls under such issues…?

‘They’, as in the State, decided to intervene and push for what is honestly a deservedly higher amount than what was essentially a slap on the wrist for Riot. That amount to be determined.

Nobody in their right mind should be defending Riot, much less trying to paint the individuals who suffered and are part of the suit as being ‘greedy’ so carelessly.

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TherecDaMage .

Agreed. $10 million was a joke amount of a settlement. The new amount at least can’t be made up by selling a new skin in their store.

Techno Wizard
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Techno Wizard

It’s like a war just to run a privately owned games company these days.

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Sorenthaz

They’re 100% owned by Tencent. That is not a privately owned company.

Techno Wizard
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Techno Wizard

You’re kinda proving my point.

Dantos
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Dantos

Tencent is public

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Armsbend

It appears that Riot pissed off some of the wrong people.

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TherecDaMage .

It’s almost like rampant sexual harassment and discrimination in the workplace shouldn’t just get a slap on the wrist, even if it’s done by a company as beloved as Riot.

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Armsbend

Probably not – but I cannot remember a time when three plaintiffs got a relatively large payout – and the state intervened saying it wasn’t enough – and then added a high powered adviser/attorney to get it done. It leads me to think someone at Riot may not have kept their mouth shut post-settlement to get some unwanted attention.

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Robert Mann

Riot has employed ~1000 female staff members since 2014. These 3 are merely the representative.

Given the scale, a revision is sensible. The government got involved, supposedly, because somebody in the class action saw the amount and looked at similar cases, and filed a request for review. Which is actually not without precedent.

Usually the person requests the court deny the settlement, but in the case of finding representatives and legal counsel are not performing well enough (sometimes not their fault) a written request for a review under the CAFA (class action fairness act) will trigger the appropriate government agencies to intervene. In this case, they could simply cite “Past Distributions” which is a requirement for all class action lawsuits in initial filing, noting the figure is far to low to compare to similar cases for similar numbers of people. In short, the attorney representing them failed to perform due diligence and needed either help or replacement.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Riot was mouthing off as usual… but the most likely reason for government involvement is a CAFA complaint.