Artist RightsDisneyLawPixar

New Web Site Helps Artists Claim Settlement Money From Wage Theft Lawsuit

Although Disney, Pixar, Lucasfilm, and DreamWorks continue to fight their employees in the wage theft lawsuit, other studios like Sony Pictures Animation, Sony Imageworks, and Blue Sky Studios have agreed to settle the case.

Due to the settlement funds provided by these other studios, amounting to nearly $19 million, the court-appointed claims administrator Kurtzman Carson Consultants has set up the web site animationlawsuit.com to help distribute the money.

Thousands of studio employees who worked at any of the studios in the lawsuit between 2001 and 2010 are eligible to participate in the settlement (the list of eligible job titles is here) and most have already received mailed letters explaining their rights. If you are an artist who hasn’t been contacted yet, the web site will provide all the information you need to participate in the settlement, and also explains how to opt-out of the settlement for those who wish to continue suing Blue Sky and/or Sony Pictures.

The monies owed to artists is still some months away. The United States District Court for the Northern District of California will hold a Fairness Hearing on November 10, 2016 at 1:30 p.m. to decide whether to approve the Blue Sky and Sony settlements. Even if the court approves the settlements, the decision may still be appealed. However, if there is no appeal, the money should be distributed sometime after the November hearing.

The lawsuit against the non-settling defendants—DreamWorks Animation, The Walt Disney Company, Lucasfilm, Pixar, and Image Movers Digital—is still ongoing, so additional money may become available if those companies choose to settle or if the case goes to trial and the plaintiff employees prevail.

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