A federal judge has denied two requests filed by Activision Blizzard. Both were linked to an ongoing harassment and misconduct lawsuit filed against the Call of Duty publisher last year.
As reported by Axios, Superior Court Judge Timothy Patrick Dillon made two rulings on the case. The lawsuit was filed by the California Civil Rights Division (CRD), formerly known as the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH), in July 2021.
- On August 10, Dillon denied Activision’s request for summary judgment. The publisher argued that the CRD rushed its lawsuit to get ahead of a federal harassment suit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
- Earlier this year, Activision reached a $18 million settlement with the Commission, which was then criticized by many advocacy groups. According to some lawyers, this court victory might “bar the DFEH from seeking further damages at the state court level.”
- On August 16, the judge denied another request from Activision to provide the company with access to more records from the CRD regarding its cooperation with lawyers who had previously worked on this case for the EEOC.
- This request is related to last year’s conflict between California and federal authorities. The EEOC argued that CRD’s lawyers opposing the Activision Blizzard settlement were previously involved in the Commission’s own investigation into the company.
- In its request, Activision claimed that it was a disqualifying ethics violation. However, Dillon ruled that the ethics rules were only aimed at blocking lawyers from switching sides during a lawsuit or prosecuting the same case for a greater profit after going into private practice.
- “Far from promoting the public interest, any attempt to disqualify Plaintiff strongly conflicts with public policy,” the judge ruled.
- Activision Blizzard, however, plans to continue with its strategy, telling Axios that the CRD has “flouted established ethical standards and refused to play by the rules.”