New York City Sues Activision Blizzard | Screen Rant

Editor’s Note: A different lawsuit has been filed against Activision Blizzard by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, which alleges the company has engaged in abuse, discrimination, and retaliation against its female employees. Activision Blizzard has denied the allegations. The full details of the Activision Blizzard lawsuit (content warning: rape, suicide, abuse, harassment) are being updated as new information becomes available.

After almost a year of reports alleging systemic, ongoing abuse within Activision Blizzard, New York City is suing the company, specifically targeting CEO Bobby Kotick. This news comes amidst various class action lawsuits against Activision Blizzard, which have served as a reckoning for a company that has been accused of numerous instances of sexual assault, racism, and the perpetuation of a generally toxic workplace culture.

The severe allegations against Activision Blizzard and its senior staff became public knowledge last summer when news of a major lawsuit against the company broke. Since then, countless disturbing stories of sexual abuse, discrimination, and corporate exploitation have come to light, with several of the company's executives being directly named as either abusers or protectors of abusers. Long-time CEO Bobby Kotick has been positioned at the center of this controversy since the start, with several accounts alleging that he had direct knowledge of the abuse within the company and actively worked to suppress the allegations against executives and managerial staff. Amongst the ongoing legal disputes, it was announced that Microsoft would be buying Activision Blizzard for almost $70 billion. Later reports would suggest that Kotick, while still the Activision Blizzard CEO, would likely be stepping down as part of the final acquisition deal.

Related: Don't Let Activision Blizzard Distract You From Its Controversies

As several lawsuits against Activision Blizzard rage on, Axios has reported that New York City is suing the company. The plaintiffs in the case are the New York City Employees’ Retirement System and various pension funds for the city's firefighters, teachers, and police officers. These groups own stock in Activision Blizzard, and are arguing that Kotick rushed to pursue a sale of the company to Microsoft to evade liability, undervaluing the company's stock in the process. The plaintiffs argue that Kotick should have been deemed unfit by the Activision Blizzard board to negotiate this sale to Microsoft given his alleged involvement in the company's abuse, and are seeking the release of various internal documents that have been withheld by Activision Blizzard.

With this new case from New York City, Activision Blizzard's list of lawsuits continues to expand. The company's board of directors have been steadfast in their support of Kotick since last summer, which many have viewed as absurd given his reputation and alleged involvement in so many of the accusations brought against the company. Since this case specifically hones in on Kotick, it's possible that the board's position on the CEO will change.

The outcome of this case, as with the others, remains to be seen. However, it's important to note that the Microsoft purchase of Activision Blizzard has not yet been finalized, and this lawsuit could very well impact the future of this arrangement.

Next: Activision Settles Sexual Harassment Lawsuit For Shamefully Low Amount

Source: Axios

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