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Stardock Lawsuits Settled

The lawsuits between Alexandra Miseta and Stardock Corporation have been settled out-of-court, reports Kotaku, saying the court has dismissed both cases with prejudice, so they cannot be reopened. Part of the settlement is a letter of apology from Ms. Miseta, who sued Stardock CEO Brad Wardell for sexual harassment, retaliation, and wrongful termination shortly before Stardock sued her for deleting their analytics and marketing data before leaving the company without notice. Brad Wardell tells the site that no money changed hands in this, but that each side dropped their case contingent on the apology, which he says represents "vindication." Thanks nin.

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59. Re: Stardock Lawsuits Settled Sep 28, 2013, 09:12 Redmask
 
draginol wrote on Sep 28, 2013, 00:20:
Ego isn't built or destroyed based on the ravings of anonymous internet posters.

If anyone here is posting for ego it's you. In real life, you'd never make it past the reception desk at a game studio. But on the internet you can puff yourself up by insulting people, imagining that by doing so you somehow become slightly less worthless.

I only posted here because I saw one of our former interns was here, someone worth interacting with. You, heh, on the other hand, are just a garden variety internet troll.

Of course it is, that's why you keep coming back for the last word and keep trying to make yourself look better in the eyes of the internet. At least be honest with yourself about what it is you're doing. Get past a reception desk? Why would I want to in the first place? Sorry to break it to you but you're just as unimportant as the rest of us and internet disdain is about the limit of what I can stomach for you.
 
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58. Re: Stardock Lawsuits Settled Sep 28, 2013, 00:20 draginol
 
Redmask wrote on Sep 27, 2013, 23:49:
draginol wrote on Sep 27, 2013, 22:47:
It wasn't so long that game company leads would hang out on forums. That's gone now. Good job.

Don't do us any favors, we all know you're here to massage your ego and attempt to spin this anyway, it has nothing to do with us.

Ego isn't built or destroyed based on the ravings of anonymous internet posters.

If anyone here is posting for ego it's you. In real life, you'd never make it past the reception desk at a game studio. But on the internet you can puff yourself up by insulting people, imagining that by doing so you somehow become slightly less worthless.

I only posted here because I saw one of our former interns was here, someone worth interacting with. You, heh, on the other hand, are just a garden variety internet troll.

 
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57. Re: Stardock Lawsuits Settled Sep 27, 2013, 23:49 Redmask
 
draginol wrote on Sep 27, 2013, 22:47:
It wasn't so long that game company leads would hang out on forums. That's gone now. Good job.

Don't do us any favors, we all know you're here to massage your ego and attempt to spin this anyway, it has nothing to do with us.
 
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56. Re: Stardock Lawsuits Settled Sep 27, 2013, 23:27 draginol
 
That's terrible!

That's another reason it's so harmful when people make false claims. My own experience in this changed my views on a lot of issues. My faith in the legal system for one thing (Detroit Michigan, white male business owner = obviously bs case not thrown out). But it's also made me question allegations I read about because I'm a lot more wary. And that's bad for people who actually do go through an ordeal.
 
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55. Re: Stardock Lawsuits Settled Sep 27, 2013, 23:20 BobBob
 
If it helps, I was sexually abused when I was a child. What's the point of my sharing this? There are worse things in life.  
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54. Re: Stardock Lawsuits Settled Sep 27, 2013, 23:13 draginol
 
That is true. Though in this case, all involved knew it was BS.

What most people don't realize is how the rules change once you are "collectible". When I was younger and poorer we never got sued.

Now, there's always a couple of people suing us. Patent trolls, trademarks, hostile work environments. And no matter how frivolous the case, if you read their filing you'd think we had been beating baby seals.

 
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53. Re: Stardock Lawsuits Settled Sep 27, 2013, 23:00 BobBob
 
draginol wrote on Sep 27, 2013, 22:47:
You're lucky Blue let you back on and you turn around write this?

You're right. It's none of my business. I was in the wrong for saying that. I apologize. I personally would be afraid of an employee's 'psycho relative' going after me. That is how I meant it. But I'm afraid of people in general. Too many crazies out there (just watch the recent news).
 
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52. Re: Stardock Lawsuits Settled Sep 27, 2013, 22:47 draginol
 
BobBob wrote on Sep 26, 2013, 04:05:
theyarecomingforyou wrote on Sep 24, 2013, 20:04:
Sexual harassment is still sexual harassment and it is up to the individual to determine whether they consider it acceptable. Brad's behaviour was absolutely disgusting and I think she was completely justified in what she did.

Agreed. He's lucky her bf or husband didn't attempt his own form of justice.

You're lucky Blue let you back on and you turn around write this?

What's disgusting are people who immediately believe false allegations. I'd say what would it take to convince a rational person that her claims were bogus, a public apology letter? But obviously we're not dealing with rational people.

I've never done anything to anyone that a reasonable person would describe the behavior as "disgusting".

This is why we can't have nice things. People are so ready to believe the worst and hurl invective that it ends up keeping the people who make stuff we enjoy using not want to be too public facing.

It wasn't so long that game company leads would hang out on forums. That's gone now. Good job.

This comment was edited on Sep 27, 2013, 22:53.
 
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51. Re: Stardock Lawsuits Settled Sep 26, 2013, 07:09 Redmask
 
BobBob wrote on Sep 26, 2013, 04:05:
Agreed. He's lucky her bf or husband didn't attempt his own form of justice.

Don't worry, perverts don't get away with that sort of behavior forever, he'll be taken down eventually.
 
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50. Re: Stardock Lawsuits Settled Sep 26, 2013, 04:05 BobBob
 
theyarecomingforyou wrote on Sep 24, 2013, 20:04:
Sexual harassment is still sexual harassment and it is up to the individual to determine whether they consider it acceptable. Brad's behaviour was absolutely disgusting and I think she was completely justified in what she did.

Agreed. He's lucky her bf or husband didn't attempt his own form of justice.
 
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49. Re: Stardock Lawsuits Settled Sep 26, 2013, 00:28 draginol
 
Ah I remember. You did a great job on that. I still use IconDeveloper.

As for behaving in ways that some might consider unprofessional or inappropriate. Guilty as charged. After all, I'm here posting. But sexual harassment? No. Not even close. I got a 3 year education on the legal meaning of that. It wasn't even a close call, even if her allegations had been true.

We'd occasional show the lawyers a print out of someone claiming "open and shut case, man. Look at his email." And they'd laugh. The ignorance combined with certainty was just an amazing combination to see.

Sadly, The actual legal threshold for SH is ridiculous and should be changed. It's virtually impossible to win such cases even when you're dealing with what most people would consider a physical assault. That's because the actions have to be pervasive, ongoing, contrary to prevailing company culture and written complaints being repeatedly ignored.

Now, I don't know of any specific things I said or did that you thought were inappropriate. I'd genuinely be interested in knowing what you thought was inappropriate. But there is nothing I did that would constitute sexual harassment because that's a specific legal conclusion with specific requirements, none of which were met.

We have annual sexual harassment workshops that go over this in better detail of course. But the point is, if someone says something thst offends you you have the right to object to it and the right to expect your employer to respect your objection.

But remember, there is no objective standard on what is "appropriate" behavior. You don't have a legal right not to be offended. The behavior has to be documented, malicious with the intent to cause distress and also be pervasive and ongoing.

I have no problem with someone disliking me for my actual views. And that is, if I say or do something that offends you, let me know, specifically and I'll do my best to not upset you. Otherwise, yea, it's my house, my rules. Let the people who need fainting couches start their own companies and see how long they make it trying to be all things to all people. I've running a game company for 20 years, longer than anyone else in our industry. And it's a rewarding but constant challenge creating an environment thst people want to come work at every day.

Given how well you did as an intern, you must be an amazing developer now. You should stop by sometime!

This comment was edited on Sep 26, 2013, 00:34.
 
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48. Re: Stardock Lawsuits Settled Sep 25, 2013, 21:49 Sepharo
 
draginol wrote on Sep 25, 2013, 17:52:
@Sepharo

I'm not good at remembering handles to names but I think I remember you. You used to get us slurpees right? :-)

Nope no slurpees. I was holed up in an office with GreenDragon and made IconDeveloper 2.0 in 3 months and it was my first time ever coding anything outside of school and first time using a .NET language. I mostly dealt with Kirk. I don't remember a bee video, you just took us out back to see the bee hives that you had just installed. I remember you guys had just finished making that awesome LoTR style map zoom effect for Elemental. Trent (mittense) and Dr. Nick had just started working there and Alexandra was hired that June. I think you're a nice guy, you treated me nicely and you treated your employees nicely as far I could tell. I'm not sure if you were involved in the decision at all but when I left you guys gave me an Xbox 360 elite as a bonus. Most people are lucky to get paid at an internship, I got to work for a local (but semi-major) game developer, get paid a decent wage, and get a great bonus... It was an excellent time. But you did say inappropriate things that I believe some people would probably classify as sexual harassment. But as I said in my earlier post that's unfortunately not something rare in the workplace and you're hardly the only person I've heard walk that line. I'm only speaking on what I heard with my own ears, the accusations that were made against you in the lawsuit were more serious.
 
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47. Re: Stardock Lawsuits Settled Sep 25, 2013, 20:59 Redmask
 
I'll sleep fine tonight creeper but thanks for your concern  
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46. Re: Stardock Lawsuits Settled Sep 25, 2013, 20:20 draginol
 
Redmask wrote on Sep 25, 2013, 19:56:
Also LOL at the overlong ramble from the 'so what if i tell sexist jokes at work' master himself.

This whole situation must be very painful to your world view.
 
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45. Re: Stardock Lawsuits Settled Sep 25, 2013, 19:56 Redmask
 
Beamer wrote on Sep 25, 2013, 13:19:
41%? Hardly. Stop going to websites called "A Voice For Men." Men have plenty of voice. Jesus.

Too long we have been chained in the boardrooms and forced to be owners of companies gentlemen! We need to rise up and fight for our rights as men in the whiniest way possible to ensures no one will identify with our cause!

Also LOL at the overlong ramble from the 'so what if i tell sexist jokes at work' master himself.
 
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44. Re: Stardock Lawsuits Settled Sep 25, 2013, 17:52 draginol
 
@Sepharo

I'm not good at remembering handles to names but I think I remember you. You used to get us slurpees right? :-)

I'm not going to criticize Alexandra. She was a good employee for most of her tenure. What I will say in general is that it's never a good idea to take something you read in a lawsuit filing as canon because they are intentionally twisted by lawyers to mean something they're not.

For example, you commented on the bee video: http://www.youtube.com/all_comments?v=UPc9Z2Dn94U&page=1

You knew the video was a skit we put together using drone bees (no stingers). But an Internet rage mob thought it was real and went berzerk with condemnations and flaming. But that tells you how much context matters. There are forums with threads dedicated to hating on that video because they really believe it was me stinging employees with bees. Like, Mr. Burns or something....excellent.

I'm not going to try to convince anyone I'm a nice guy because I'm not really that nice. But I am honest. I can only promise people I'll tell them the truth.

In our industry, people are always talking about misogyny and often times, the media that throws these stones are living in glass houses. I've been on so many media tours over the years with my female marketing manager and female PR manager where our presence doubled the number of females in the entire magazine's office.

The things Stardock is best known for were led by women. The lead developer of Galactic Civilizations is a woman. The Project Manager of Start8 is a woman. The lead artist on Fallen Enchantress/Legendary Heroes is a woman. And so on. I've yet to visit a studio that is even remotely as diverse as ours (sex, race, orientation, etc.). We just don't discriminate. We don't care if you're white, black, liberal, conservative, gay, or Drengin. We just care whether you can do the job extremely well.

Alexandra was the first female employee to leave the company voluntarily in our history (20 years next month). If anyone reading this works at a tech company where a third of the employees are women, and has that low of a turn over then perhaps you can clue others in on the significance of that.

None of that excuses me from writing a sarcastic flame email to one of my employees. I'm not proud of that. I wasn't proud of it at the time and had apologized to her the next day for being such a jerk in my email. There was a lot leading up to that series of emails but as the "boss" I have a responsibility to keep my cool and clearly, in that instance, I failed. It was, however, written not based on her sex but because of the events leading up to the email.

I could get into a much much longer discussion on how toxic I think our company's environment was in 2010. It was one of the reasons why we sold off Impulse.

There's a reason why studios and publishers and distributors are usually separate companies. The cultures in each tend to be very different and very incompatible. And in 2010 we had all 3 in the same building and it was highly unpleasant. I hated it. I hated coming to work.

There's an email out there that was part of discovery (it was sent privately to our VP of Ops but was subpoenaed during the suit) that really highlighted how frustrated I was at the time. As the founder/CEO/owner I don't really have the luxury to quit my job. But I can tell ya, if I could, in 2010, I would have. It was a horrible horrible time that summer. I got stuck with finishing Elemental (our PM had to go on maternity leave) and I was aggravated that it was nothing like Master of Magic (long story there on its own). But the bottom line is that it was a sucky time and if I could have, I would have quit and found another job then.

Luckily, after Elemental shipped (and was generally considered awful) it forced me to restructure the company. It was the best thing that ever happened to be honest. I got rid of Impulse. We lost some people I really miss but get to talk to on Skype all the time but we also shed a lot of the people who weren't a cultural fit and that's putting it kindly.

The point being, if you dream of starting your own company, remember that once you are a going concern, it becomes basically impossible to quit. That's why many business owners make a lot of effort to make sure the company remains enjoyable for them. They're stuck there.

So as you mentioned, we go to the movies together. We have personal trainers come in, we have a nutritionist come in. Etc.

None of that, btw, excuses any sort of illegal behavior. But "inappropriate" is in the eye of the beholder. I was willing (and highly motivated) to let a jury of our peers make that call. We knew (and by we, I mean every person at Stardock including the female friends Alexanddra had recruited who are still there) we hadn't done anything wrong. You can read the twisted pieces online and then what I've posted without taking into account what I'm referring to and make your own conclusions of course.

I won't pretend to know how many game company "CEOs" hang out on forums. You guys who know me know I'm on a lot of forums. I post openly, as myself. I have for years. I also have been blogging for decades. I don't pretend to be "a nice guy" (whatever that is). I can promise I tell the truth. So there it is for what it's worth.
 
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43. Re: Stardock Lawsuits Settled Sep 25, 2013, 13:19 Beamer
 
Morga wrote on Sep 25, 2013, 05:59:
Darks wrote on Sep 24, 2013, 19:56:
You said it dude, this is a case where she got fired and decided to lash out crying sexual harassment because she's a women and thinks that she can get away with it. Its a typical case of cry rape and prove you didn't do it when its supposed to be innocent until proven.

Yes, many innocent men's lives have been ruined by false abuse and rape allegations. False rape allegations without proof destroy innocent men's lives, careers and reputation.
An estimated 41% of rape allegations are false.

False rape and abuse allegations also make it more dangerous for business owners to hire women.

False accusations are also used during divorce by the ex-wife to gain advantages with divorce and sole-custody of the children and cut the father out of their lives.

The secret and corrupt family courts often consider men as guilty first with abuse accusations even without proof.

Stardock sued her for deleting their analytics and marketing data before leaving the company without notice

She should've at least paid all damages for deleting the company's marketing and analytic data. And also if there's no evidence of sexual harassment.

A famous false rape allegation case is Brian Banks:

Banks, 27, signed with the Falcons on Wednesday, giving him an opportunity he said he did not believe would be possible when he spent five years in prison and five years on probation following his conviction of rape and kidnapping charges a decade ago.
.............
Gibson recanted her claim and offered to help Banks clear his name after he was out of prison. That helped lead to the conviction being overturned by a California court and Banks' record cleared on May 12, 2012.
.............
"It's almost impossible to explain, the feeling of not having freedom, to be stripped away of your freedom, of your dignity, the respect you once had," he said. "To lose it all and watch the world pass you by as you sit inside a prison cell, knowing you shouldn't be there, knowing you're there because of another person's lies, to lose it all and then get it all back, it's a very humbling, spiritual feeling that you just don't want to take anything for granted.

Link

False rape and abuse accusers are punished very lightly.

The problem of sentencing disparities is compounded by an epidemic of false accusations:

205 (and growing) wrongly convicted people have been exonerated by DNA evidence since the beginning of the Innocence Project.

204 of the wrongly convicted were men.

Most of them were falsely imprisoned for rape.

Link

As we saw in the Duke Lacrosse rape case fiasco, false accusers are rarely prosecuted and when they are it is only as a misdemeanor (at most), while rape itself is vigorously prosecuted as a felony. The Duke false accuser, Crystal Gayle Mangum went on to commit assault, arson and finally murder before authorities made a good faith intervention.

One attorney speaking at premiere for the movie, After Innocence, estimates that there are between 20,000 and 100,000 wrongly convicted still in prison.

Valid research puts the estimated false rape reporting rate at 41%

Source: Link

Link

False rape is a miniscule problem when compared to, you know, rape.

41%? Hardly. Stop going to websites called "A Voice For Men." Men have plenty of voice. Jesus.
 
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42. Re: Stardock Lawsuits Settled Sep 25, 2013, 10:59 Mashiki Amiketo
 
Julio wrote on Sep 25, 2013, 07:28:
Brad would have not have dropped the lawsuit if he didn't have some risk of losing against her.

Not even remotely true to anyone who pays attention to the justice system these days. In most cases, it's easier to make something "go away" then it is to let it be dragged through the streets for years, even if you're in the right. Several fine examples of this are *insert various people/businesses* who pay *insert money* because the legal fees are ridiculous.
 
--
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there is a neat, simple solution;
and it is always wrong."
--H.L. Mencken
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41. Re: Stardock Lawsuits Settled Sep 25, 2013, 10:41 Jivaro
 
So, out of curiosity InBlack, would it be fair to say that you prioritize the corporate data over the sexual harassment? Not being sarcastic, serious question. From where you are standing, is it fair to say that you believe that it is more important to punish her for her actions then it is to punish him for sexual harassment? I mean, you seem to be absolutely pissed that she is getting away with something here and completely unbothered by the fact that he might in fact also be getting away with something.

I ask because that is what I am getting from your posts. It is irrelevant whether I agree or not, but I am curious if that is how you would summarize your opinion.
 
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40. Re: Stardock Lawsuits Settled Sep 25, 2013, 08:45 InBlack
 
I get it he is a douche. Ive heard it from numerous sources. Hell he even admits it himself!! I dont doubt that he was a pig, and maybe Ms. Miseta might have even had a case against him. But what really piques me about this whole story is that analytics and marketing data destruction. Did she do it out of spite? Out of anger at being harrased? Somethings not right there. Or maybe because she was about to be found out and possibly fired for fudging numbers....In any case seems kind of too convenient for her to be destroying documents and suing her former employer in the same breath...  
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I have a nifty blue line!
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