Genie Harrison and Nicholas W. Sarris Withdraw Proposed Settlement and Pursue Expert Analysis of Compensation Due to Women
LOS ANGELES, Feb. 19, 2020 – Representatives in a gender discrimination class action against Los Angeles video games developer Riot Games have hired new legal counsel after two state agencies opposed a preliminary settlement, citing alleged mistakes and improprieties by prior class counsel, and assert that the class may be entitled to hundreds of millions more in damages.
The class representatives first learned about the alleged improprieties from Los Angeles Times articles. Alarmed by accusations made by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) and the Department of Labor Standards & Enforcement (DLSE) against prior counsel, Rosen & Saba, and the settlement, the class representatives sought new counsel to investigate why the proposed settlement and the agencies’ positions were so different.
Class representatives hired noted women’s rights attorney Genie Harrison, known for bringing cases against the Weinstein Company and other high-profile offenders, as well as for her commitment to achieving institutional reforms. Harrison has teamed up with plaintiffs’ employment lawyer Nicholas W. Sarris, who routinely prosecutes complex employment class actions, and together they have replaced Rosen & Saba.
Class representatives Melanie McCracken and Jessica Negron originally filed the action against their employer in November 2018, alleging equal pay violations, sexual harassment, gender/sex discrimination and retaliation. Gabriela Downie later joined the case as a class representative. Rosen & Saba negotiated a settlement for $10 million to be distributed among approximately 1,000 class members and filed a motion for preliminary approval. The DFEH and the DLSE announced their opposition to the motion in January, with the DFEH explaining its belief that the settlement had been rushed and that violations that could amount up to an additional $390 million in damages.
Harrison and attorneys, at JML Law withdrew the motion to approve the proposed settlement and are obtaining expert analysis of the alleged pay disparities for the women of Riot Games. “These brave women spoke out against gender inequality and sexism, and I want to make sure they are fairly compensated,” says Harrison, founder of the Genie Harrison Law Firm in Los Angeles. “Our well-qualified statisticians are already analyzing pay data. 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.”
“We don’t step into these types of cases lightly,” says attorneys, at JML Law in Woodland Hills, Calif, “but where questions of fairness and justice are at stake, we want to ensure these class representatives are getting the justice they seek.”