Animation Workers Antitrust Litigation

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is this lawsuit about?
  2. What is a class action, and who is involved?
  3. Am I a Class Member?
  4. Why are there Settlements with Blue Sky and Sony Pictures?
  5. Why don’t the Settlements end the case?
  6. Is the lawsuit continuing?
  7. What happens if the Plaintiffs later reach a settlement with the Non-Settling Defendants?
  8. Will my manager know whether or how I responded to the Notice?
  1. What is this lawsuit about?

    The lawsuit claims that Defendants conspired to suppress compensation by agreeing not to solicit each other’s employees and to coordinate compensation policies in violation of federal and state antitrust laws. Each of the Defendants, including Blue Sky and Sony Pictures, denies that it violated any laws or engaged in any wrongdoing. Blue Sky and Sony Pictures have entered into separate Settlement Agreements with Plaintiffs. The other Defendants (DreamWorks Animation, Two Pic (f/k/a Image Movers Digital), Lucasfilm, Pixar, and The Walt Disney Company) have not settled with the Plaintiffs, and the case against them continues. To obtain more information about the claims in this lawsuit, you can view the complaint and other court documents here.

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  2. What is a class action, and who is involved?

    In a class action lawsuit, one or more persons called “Named Plaintiffs” or “Class Representatives” sue on behalf of other people who have similar claims. The people with similar claims together are a “Class” and are called “Class Members.” A class action resolves the issues for all Class Members, except for those who exclude themselves from the Class. The Court appointed Named Plaintiffs Georgia Cano, Robert Nitsch, and David Wentworth as Class Representatives in this case. 

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  3. Am I a Class Member?

    For Settlement Class Members, Animation or visual effects employees who held specific job titles at one or more of the Defendant companies during certain time periods may be Settlement Class Members and eligible for a payment from the Settlements when the funds are distributed, if they meet the following class definition:

    All animation and visual effects employees employed by one or more of the Defendants in the United States who held any of the job titles listed in the attached List of Job Titles by Defendant during the following time periods: Pixar (2001 - 2010), Lucasfilm Ltd., LLC (2001 - 2010), DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc. (2003 - 2010), The Walt Disney Company (2004 - 2010), Sony Pictures Animation Inc. and Sony Pictures Imageworks Inc. (2004 - 2010), Blue Sky Studios, Inc. (2005 - 2010) and Two Pic MC LLC formerly known as ImageMovers Digital LLC (2007 - 2010).  Excluded from the Class are senior executives, members of the board of directors, and persons employed to perform office operation or administrative tasks.

    To be in the Settlement Class and participate in either Settlement, you must have been an employee and held one or more of the job titles listed on the List of Job Titles by Defendant available here during the time periods mentioned.

     

    For Litigation Class Members, Animation or visual effects employees who held specific job titles at one or more of the Defendant companies during certain time periods may be Litigation Class Members if they meet the following class definition.

    All animation and visual effects employees employed by one or more of the Defendants in the United States who held any of the job titles listed in the List of Job Titles by Defendant during the following time periods: Pixar (2004 - 2010), Lucasfilm Ltd., LLC (2004 - 2010), DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc. (from 2004 - 2010), The Walt Disney Company (2004 - 2010), Sony Pictures Animation Inc. and Sony Pictures Imageworks Inc. (2004 - 2010), Blue Sky Studios, Inc. (2005 - 2010) and Two Pic MC LLC f/k/a ImageMovers Digital LLC (2007 - 2010).  Excluded from the Class are senior executives, members of the board of directors, and persons employed to perform office operation or administrative tasks.

    To be in the Litigation Class, you must have been an employee and held one or more of the job titles listed on the List of Job Titles by Defendant available here during the time periods mentioned.    

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  4. Why are there Settlements with Blue Sky and Sony Pictures?

    The Court has not found in favor of any party, including Plaintiffs, Blue Sky, Sony Pictures or the Non-Settling Defendants. Plaintiffs and Blue Sky, and separately Plaintiffs and Sony Pictures, have agreed to Settlement Agreements which, if they are approved, will bring the claims against Blue Sky and Sony Pictures to an end.  (The Court could also choose to approve one Settlement Agreement, and not the other.)  Settling the case avoids the uncertainty of continuing the case between them and the cost of further litigation, and Settlement Class Members will get the benefits of the Settlements. The Class Representatives and Class Counsel support the Settlements and believe they are in the best interests of the Class.  

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  5. Why don’t the Settlements end the case?

    Although the Settlements with Blue Sky and Sony Pictures fully resolve the Settlement Class Members’ claims against Blue Sky and Sony Pictures, respectively, the Settlements only partially resolve the case, as it will continue against the Non-Settling Defendants. 

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  6. Is the lawsuit continuing?

    Blue Sky and Sony Pictures have separately agreed to settle this case.  The Non-Settling Defendants (DreamWorks Animation, Two Pic MC LLC (f/k/a Image Movers Digital LLC), Lucasfilm, Ltd., LLC, Pixar, and The Walt Disney Company) have not agreed to settle, so the lawsuit will continue against them.  More money may become available in the future for Litigation Class Members as a result of additional settlements with and/or a trial against the Non-Settling Defendants, but there is no guarantee this will happen.

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  7. What happens if the Plaintiffs later reach a settlement with the Non-Settling Defendants?

    The settlements with Blue Sky and Sony Pictures do not end the case against the Non-Settling Defendants. It cannot be known whether the Plaintiffs would prevail against the Non-Settling Defendants at a trial. If there are additional settlements in the future, there will be notice of those settlements as well for Litigation Class Members.  

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  8. Will my manager know whether or how I responded to the Notice?

    The Court has appointed an independent, experienced professional Notice and Claims Administrator, Kurtzman Carson Consultants (referred to as “KCC”). The Notice and Claims Administrator will establish and follow procedures to protect the confidentiality of the identity of persons receiving payments or opting out. The Notice and Claims Administrator will issue settlement checks.  The list of those Settlement Class Members receiving checks will not be shared with Defendants, the Court, or Plaintiffs’ counsel.

    The Notice and Claims Administrator will also receive requests to be excluded from the Settlements.  The Notice and Claims Administrator will be required to share requests to be excluded from the Settlements with Class Counsel and counsel for the Defendants, as well as with the Court.  Objections to the Settlements, as well as the names of those who opt out of the Settlements, will become part of the public record in the court file.

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