Activision Blizzard is once again surrounded by controversy stemming from a lawsuit put forth by the family of a former employee.
Activision Blizzard is a company with a lot of controversy on its plate right now. Now they have another lawsuit being brought against them over an employee’s death. The suit was filed by the family of Kerri Moynihan, who committed suicide in 2017. She was found dead in a hotel room at Disneyland’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa. The lawsuit claims that sexual harassment was a big part of why she had taken her own life.
Kerri Moynihan was a finance manager for Activision Blizzard, where she worked since 2011. The parents of Moynihan sent a copy of the lawsuit to Polygon, revealing multiple details about Kerri and her relationship with the company. The lawsuit revealed that Kerri was well-liked by colleagues and that she worked extremely long hours. It also alleges that Moynihan’s manager Greg Restituito lied about potential sexual relations with Kerri. The lawsuit also mentions instances of sexual harassment that happened prior to the company trip where she committed suicide. One instance of sexual harassment was private pictures being passed around at a company party. The lawsuit also mentions how the workplace was abusive and intimidating overall. A police report in the lawsuit also alleges her manager Greg Restituito made unusual inquiries about Kerri with other employees that were around Kerri the night before she died and that he removed items from her apartment.
Activision Blizzard gave Polygon a statement of their own saying that they were saddened by the death and that she was a valued member of the company. They mentioned they would be handling the matter through the legal process and didn’t offer further comment. Moynihan’s death was first referenced in the Department of Fair Employment and Housing lawsuit that was filed against Activision Blizzard last year. In the wake of that lawsuit, there have been calls from employees to force out CEO Bobby Kotick, who allegedly had extensive knowledge about the employee misconduct and sexual harassment going on in the company. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission also sued Activision Blizzard in a lawsuit that ended up being settled for $18 million.
Amongst all this controversy and these lawsuits, Activision Blizzard was acquired in January by Microsoft. This acquisition was the largest in Microsoft’s history, with the company being bought for the massive sum of $68.7 million. Presumably, Microsoft will want to make some major changes to remove the elements of the company causing these issues. If they’re spending that large of a sum, it wouldn’t make much sense to keep the toxic elements of the company that are dragging it down.
There is no further news about this most recent lawsuit currently. Since lawsuits are typically a slow process, this will likely be an ongoing story that evolves over time. The company has made statements that they would improve their workplace conditions and make changes. This would likely involve firing various employees and making changes to the work culture. Activision Blizzard is most known for World of Warcraft, Diablo, Call of Duty, and various other games. Stay tuned to GIANT FREAKIN ROBOT for more news about these lawsuits as they continue to develop.