Riot Games Denies Collusion in Lawsuit

GamesIndustry.biz has more on the haggling over the settlement in the gender discrimination suit against Riot Games. It was recently reported that a couple of state agencies in California are saying the $10 million settlement should be increased to $400 million. The GI.biz article explains that the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) is suggesting that the original settlement may be the result of collusion with the plaintiffs' attorneys and a "reverse auction," an accusation which Riot denies. The reverse auction is described thusly: "A defendant's collusive selection of the weakest attorney among a number of plaintiff attorneys who have filed lawsuits dealing with the same subject matter." Here's more:
The DFEH's argument centres around a belief that the plaintiffs' could be entitled to around $400 million in compensation, as opposed to the $10 million currently under consideration.

Additionally, the DFEH claims to use the same methodology as Rosen Saba in reaching this figure, but also included stock or equity compensation in its estimate.

Stocks are "a significant part of employee compensation, especially for men," a DFEH spokesperson told GamesIndustry.biz.

"DFEH relied on these records to submit a more accurate pay gap estimate to the court," they added. "Riot did not. Riot itself concedes in its court filings that stock compensation was not accounted for in any of the pay gap analyses used in the proposed settlement agreement."

Based on court documents, the DFEH is attempting to build a case that Riot Games colluded with Rosen Saba to minimise the amount it would have to pay out -- an assertion which the plaintiffs' legal counsel strongly objects.

Furthermore, the DFEH claims that Riot Games wants to impede the government agency's ongoing investigation into gender discrimination which was launched in October 2018, a month before the lawsuit was filed.

However, Riot Games legal counsel refutes each claim, and argues instead that the DFEH figure "is outrageous, reckless, and without any basis in fact or law."

"The proposed settlement is fair, reasonable, and stands to provide significant relief to the putative class," the document continues. "The DFEH's Objection -- which is wrought with misinformation and misdirection -- seeks only to stand in the way of such relief."

Riot Games also said that Rosen Saba was the only legal firm to file for this case, and so there was no possibility of a reverse auction, as suggested by the DFEH.