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Call of Duty Maker Activision Sued by Family of Employee Who Died by Suicide

By: Tech Desk

News18.com

Last Updated: March 07, 2022, 10:41 IST

Activision Blizzard was also sued by California's Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) in July 2021.

Activision Blizzard was also sued by California's Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) in July 2021.

Kerri Moynihan (32) was found dead during a company retreat in 2017. Activision Blizzard was recently purchased by Microsoft.

Activision Blizzard, the company behind the popular Call of Duty franchise, is being sued by the parents of an employee who died by suicide in 2017. The family alleges that a supervisor concealed details about his relationship with the deceased Kerri Moynihan (32) at the time of investigation and accuses the company of sexual harassment. Moynihan was found dead during the company’s retreat at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa nearly five years ago. The lawsuit by the deceased’s family and assessed by The Washington Post notes that Activision Blizzard had refused to turn over Moynihan’s company-issued laptop to police and her cell phone was “wiped”, therefore, concealing information.

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Sexual misconduct at Activision Blizzard and what the lawsuit claims

The lawsuit claims that sexual harassment at Activision Blizzard played a “significant factor” leading to Moynihan’s death.

“The harassment to which Kerri was subjected was a substantial factor in causing harm to Kerri… tragically culminating in Kerri’s death at the age of 32”, the Washington Post reports citing the lawsuit.

The parents seemingly found out about Activision Blizzard’s ‘pervasive’ work environment following a separate lawsuit filed by California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) in July 2021. The lawsuit by California claims that the video game giant fostered a “frat boy” work culture, and female employees faced “unwanted sexual comments and advances by their male coworkers”. The same month last year, several employees staged a walkout outside the company’s main campus in Irvine, California. They were protesting against Activision Blizzard’s “handling of sexual harassment and discrimination charges”, The Verge reports.

Similarly, another report by The Wall Street Journal in November 2021 noted that “Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick has been aware of sexual misconduct allegations at the company for years”. Kotick has also been accused of having “his own history of harassment and abusive behaviour.” The company denies all these charges.

Kerri Moynihan’s alleged relationship with boss

Kerri Moynihan’s parents also claim that her boss (supervisor), Greg Restituito, concealed information about his relationship with the deceased in 2017. Restituito left Activision Blizzard in May 2017 – a month after Moynihan’s death. The lawsuit refers to an ensuing “coverup” by Restituito and Activision. It is also being reported that the gaming company did not cooperate with cops over handling Restituito’s office-issued laptop.

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Moynihan’s parents are also criticising Anaheim police for a “perfunctory and incomplete investigation”. The police department, on the other hand, says the force stands by its investigation.

Earlier this year, Microsoft announced plans to acquire Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion. Bobby Kotick will continue as the company’s CEO until the deal closes sometime in 2023.

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first published:March 07, 2022, 10:41 IST
last updated:March 07, 2022, 10:41 IST