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Activision Blizzard sued over the suicide death of its employee

Activision Blizzard, the embattled game producer that Microsoft has announced it is buying for almost $69 billion, has been sued by the parents of a former worker that died by suicide.

The parents of Kerri Moynihan are suing Activision Blizzard over the death of their daughter. Moynihan’s death was ruled as a suicide after her body was found in a hotel during a company retreat in 2017. The family of the former finance manager blames her former employer because she took her life over alleged sexual harassment. According to the complaint, Activision Blizzard didn’t do enough to prevent sexual harassment among its staff.

The lawsuit also claims a supervisor lied to detectives when questioned about his relationship with Moynihan.

Late Moynihan had been mentioned in a lawsuit filed by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing against Activision Blizzard for letting a culture of sexual harassment grow in the company without checks. The game maker also allowed misconduct and gender-based discrimination to foster. However, Moynihan was not mentioned by name in the lawsuit last year.

As allegedly revealed by the DFEH’s lawsuit, during the last company retreat Moynihan attended, her male co-workers distributed pictures of her private parts, and a male supervisor brought sex toys to the event.

However, Activision Blizzard dismissed the DFEH’s lawsuit last year, claiming it was distorted and included many false claims. It also criticized the department for mentioning Moynihan’s suicide. “We are sickened by the reprehensible conduct of the DFEH to drag into the complaint the tragic suicide of an employee whose passing has no bearing whatsoever on this case and with no regard for her grieving family.”

The lawsuit filed by Moynihan’s parents, Paul and Janet Moynihan, at the Los Angeles Superior Court, claims Greg Restituito, their daughter’s boss, was the staff that lied to the police that investigated her death in a hotel room at Disney’s Grand California Hotel & Spa. He refused to admit there was a relationship between the two of them. Restituito failed to respond to a request for comment by The Washington Post.

Restituito is also accused of deliberately making an effort to conceal evidence of the relationship after Moynihan’s death. In a police report referenced by the lawsuit, he is mentioned to have “seemingly unusual inquiries with other employees who were present with [Kerri] the night preceding her death.”

A search of Restituito’s LinkedIn history shows he worked as a senior finance director at Activision Blizzard until May 2017, about a month after Moynihan’s death.

However, the lawsuit also alleges that Activision Blizzard refused to turn over Moynihan’s work-issued laptop to the police to aid their investigation, and her cellphone was wiped out. The company also refused to hand over Restituito’s laptop or cellphone.

Activision Blizzard’s spokesperson declined to avoid the Moynihans’ lawsuit but commented that the company is “deeply saddened by the tragic death of Ms. Moynihan, who was a valued member of the company. We will address the complaint through the legal process as appropriate, and out of respect for the family, we have no further comment at this time.”

The company has been dogged by scandals lately, revolving around its alleged lack of adequate action to prevent harassment among its staff. There have been calls for the CEO to resign, but that apparently won’t be the case until Microsoft completes the takeover.

Activision Blizzard faces an investigation by the US Securities and Exchange Commission on how it handled sexual harassment and gender-based discrimination cases.

Written by HackerVibes

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