Judge greenlights $50m settlement in wage-fixing suit against Dreamworks Animation

| Updated: Jan 20, 2017 17:29 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], Jan. 20 (ANI): A federal judge recently gave a preliminary approval for a settlement of a class action lawsuit brought by animation workers against DreamWorks Animation. U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh greenlit a 50 million dollar settlement after the workers claimed that the studio violated antitrust laws by conspiring to set animation wages via non-poaching agreements, Variety reports. The named plaintiffs, Robert Nitsch, David Wentworth, and Georgia Cano, had already reached settlement agreements with Sony Imageworks and Blue Sky Studios. Koh noted that DreamWorks Animation "has independently agreed to cooperate with plaintiffs in authenticating documents, and in not voluntarily producing any employee to testify at trial for any non-settling defendant." Other defendants in the case are The Walt Disney Company, Lucasfilm, Pixar, and ImageMovers, whose cases are still pending. The final fairness hearing is scheduled for May 18. The roots of the anti-poaching agreements go back to the mid-1980s, when George Lucas and Ed Catmull, the president of Steve Jobs' newly formed company Pixar, agreed to not raid each other's employees. Other companies then joined the conspiracy with agreements on such things as cold calling and notifying each other when making an offer to an employee of another company.(ANI)