Dreamworks to pay $50 million to settle animators class action

Posted on: November 29th, 2016 by Steve Larson

Employees of Dreamworks Animation who worked as animators have announced they have agreed to a $50 million settlement arising out of a class action alleging that Dreamworks Animation entered into a “no poach” agreement with other studios over the hiring of animators.  The lawsuit had been filed in September 2014, and claims against Twentieth Century Fox and Sony Corp. had previously settled.  Twentieth Century Fox agreed to pay $6 million and Sony Corp. agreed to pay $13 million.  Judge Lucy Koh approved those settlements.

The complaints were filed after the U.S. Department of Justice began an investigation into the hiring practices of Silicon Valley businesses. Last year, Judge Koh approved a $415 million settlement in a different class action accusing Google, Inc., Apple Inc. and others of agreeing not to poach each other’s software engineers.

The case is In re: Animation Workers Antitrust Litigation, case number 
5:14-cv-04062, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.