Activision Blizzard sued for claiming sexual harassment contributed to employee’s death

According to a report by The Washington Post. Paul and Janet Moynihan, the parents of Kerri Moynihan, a 32-year-old finance executive at Activision Blizzard, say sexual harassment was a “significant factor” contributing to her death. Investigators ruled Moynihan’s death a suicide after she was found dead in a hotel room at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa in April 2017.

As noted The post office, Moynihan was anonymously referenced in the lawsuit filed by California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) last July, which sued Activision Blizzard for allegedly fostering a toxic culture of “constant sexual harassment.” The DFEH complaint alleges that her male colleagues circulated a photo of her vagina at a holiday party before her death. When the lawsuit was filed, Activision Blizzard said DFEH’s claims were “distorted and, in many cases, untrue.”

A copy of the new lawsuit seen by The post office asserts that Activision Blizzard “promoted and enabled a work environment in which sexual harassment was pervasive” and did not “prevent such harassment”. He also accuses Moynihan boss Greg Restituito of hiding his sexual relationship with Moynihan from investigators. Restituito worked as Activision Blizzard’s chief financial officer until May 2017, a month after Moynihan died by suicide.

According to the lawsuit, Activision Blizzard refused to give police access to Moynihan and Restituito’s phones and laptops during the investigation into Moynihan’s death.

Activision Blizzard has been embroiled in the controversy since last year’s lawsuit. Months after employees staged a walkout to protest workplace discrimination, The Wall Street Journal released a bombshell report alleging Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick knew about rampant sexual misconduct at the company — Kotick still remains CEO after employees and shareholders called for his resignation. In January, Microsoft announced its next acquisition of Activision Blizzard, with Kotick remaining as the company’s CEO until the deal closes in 2023.

The edge contacted Activision Blizzard with a request for comment, but did not immediately respond.

Disclosure: Casey Wasserman is a member of the board of directors of Activision Blizzard as well as the board of directors of Vox Media, the parent company of The Verge.


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