DreamWorks Animation has reached a settlement agreement with the plaintiffs in the ongoing class-action lawsuit alleging wage theft and unfair competition, among other claims.
Documents filed with the federal district court in San Jose reveal that the studio has agreed to pay $50 million to members of the class of animation and visual effects artists affected by the suit. Those artists include animation and visual effects employees who worked at DreamWorks between 2004 and 2010. If the court finds the agreement fair and accepts the settlement, a notice will be sent to those employees informing them what to do to ensure that they will receive their share of the settlement.
As part of the settlement agreement, the named plaintiffs—Robert A. Nitsch, Jr., Georgia Cano, and David Wentworth—will be awarded $10,000 in consideration of their efforts on behalf of the class. Additionally, the agreement allows for 30% of the settlement amount (or $15 million) to be paid to the plaintiffs’ attorneys. (When an attorney is hired by a plaintiff on a contingency basis—that is, without pay unless the plaintiff wins the case—that attorney will typically receive anywhere from 25-40% of the amount awarded to the plaintiff.)