Objection Denied in Blizzard Settlement

The Court Said That the Objection Was Too Broad and Vague

Blizzard has been in the news a lot lately. While it has been quiet in the past few weeks, more legal drama has been brought up within the Activision Blizzard settlement. This is not on Blizzard’s part, however.

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Instead, this was brought up by California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing. While in the midst of their own case against Activision Blizzard, California’s  Department of Fair Employment and Housing (also known as DFEH), has objected to the $18 million dollar settlement that California’s Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (also known as EEOC). According to DFEH, having the case settled would lead to the “effective destruction” of evidence in their own case against Activision Blizzard.

The court, however, ruled no as of today, on the grounds of its claims being too vague, and allowing too much possible interference with future and present employment-related cases within the state. There was also little evidence that the, well, evidence would be destroyed.

This case will also not, as a practical matter, impair or impede DFEH’s ability to protect its interests,” said (well, wrote)  US district judge Dale S. Fischer about the objection and the DFEH case. “Aside from the speculative evidence destruction argument, the proposed consent decree will not, and could not, affect DFEH’s ongoing litigation against Defendants. And even if DFEH had some interest in ensuring that the proposed claims process for individuals provided adequate and just compensation, nothing in the consent decree would appear to prevent DFEH from reaching a separate agreement with Defendants in its own case to supplement the recovery to individuals who choose to take part in the claims process.”

In short, victims in both cases will be able to participate in both the EEOC and DFEH cases, and be able to get compensation from both cases, possibly.

But there’s still a ray of hope for DFEH. According to the court ruling, there’s enough public interest that the court is open to the idea of an amicus brief.  Basically, an amicus brief is a court filing made by a “friend of the court”—someone who isn’t directly involved in a case but has relevant expertise or opinions that can help with figuring out their position. In short: the court wants to hear more from an expert about these cases.

So while they want the objection to be brief, about fifteen pages or less, the court is still willing to hear DFEH out. Still, Blizzard seems strangely confident that its settlement will have its final approval.

The agreement we reached with the EEOC reflects Activision’s commitment to significant improvements and transparency,” said a representative to PC Gamer.  “We remain optimistic that it will be approved by the Court soon, making immediate compensation available to eligible employees who choose to participate.

There is still no comment on EEOC nor DFEH at this point of publishing though. These federal departments may have other ideas.