DreamWorks Animation, Disney and Sony Pictures have all sought the dismissal of a class action suit that was brought against them for wage fixing. The suit was brought by digital animation workers and deals specifically with the production of animated films.
The three studios have filed a motion to have the suit brought by digital artists David Wentworth, Robert Nitsch Jr. and Georgia Cano dismissed based on its having been filed after the passage of the time limit under the statute of limitations. They also pointed out that the US Department of Justice had already investigated the allegations and found no wrongdoing.
The papers that they filed with the court read, “the present plaintiffs did not bring litigation either in response to the DOJ investigation or after the High-Tech cases were filed. Instead, they waited nearly five years after the
DOJ commenced its investigation. In an effort to manufacture new claims not covered by the HighTech lawsuits, plaintiffs assert that animation studios, other than High-Tech defendants Pixar and Lucasfilm, also participated in the alleged conspiracy. However, plaintiffs’ attempt is futile as a matter of law and comes far too late. The statutes of limitations for their claims expired long ago.”
They further stated, “Plaintiffs allege no facts to support their improbable theory that the challenged conduct continued beyond the DOJ investigation, the consent judgments with some defendants, and the HighTech litigation. In fact, they cite no allegedly wrongful communications or actions at all within the past five years. Instead, they refer to communications and actions by some defendants that occurred before
the DOJ investigation and then conclusorily assert that defendants’ alleged conduct continued despite the obvious peril of conspiring in the face of such intense scrutiny. Under settled law, the Court should not credit such conclusory and implausible allegations to plead around the four-year limitations period. That is particularly true given that plaintiffs have obtained extensive pre-complaint discovery and the High-Tech public record, and purportedly have interviewed roughly 80 former industry employees.”