Activision Blizzard sued in wrongful death case alleging sexual harassment led to suicide
The family of an Activision Blizzard employee who committed suicide in 2017
Issued the video game company in a wrongful death case filed Thursday in Los Angeles. Janet and Paul Moynihan, parents of a 32-year-old Activision Blizzard financial manager who committed suicide while on a business trip. Say sexual harassment was a “significant factor” in her death. Kerry Moynihan was found dead in her suite at the Grand Californian Hotel & Spa at Disneyland in April 2017 after she took her own life.
A lawyer representing Paul and Janet Moynihan provided Polygon with a copy of the lawsuit but did not comment further. Washington Post first reported the filing. The lawsuit mentions an alleged “hostile, intimidating, abusive and offensive” Activision Blizzard workplace. It claims that Activision Blizzard is responsible for the failure to prevent the harassment that led to her suicide. The lawsuit alleged that the employee committed suicide while on a business trip. “Due to a sexual relationship she had with her male supervisor.” It has been alleged that Moynihan experienced sexual harassment at work and before traveling. Including an incident where pictures of Moynihan’s vagina were circulated at a company party. At the time of filing with the DFEH, Activision Blizzard said it called the allegations in the lawsuit. “Misrepresented and in many cases false.”
Moynihan joined Activision Blizzard in 2011 as an accountant.
Supporting Activision Blizzard’s operations in Latin America, according to the lawsuit. The suit names Greg Restituto as Moynihan’s manager and alleges. That Restitutito lied to investigators about having a sexual relationship with Moynihan. According to the lawsuit, Activision Blizzard also refused to hand over Moynihan’s work laptop. To police and denied police access to Restituto’s cell phone, saying it had been “erased.” According to his LinkedIn profile, Restituto worked at Activision Blizzard as Senior CFO from May 2016 to May 2017.
The lawsuit cites a police report alleging that Restituto made. “Seemingly unusual inquiries with other officers present at the scene.” [Kerri] the night before her death” and also went to her apartment, “cleaned her up and took things out of her”. An Activision Blizzard spokesperson told Polygon that the company is “deeply saddened” by Moynihan’s death, saying she was a “valuable member of the company.”
He continued, “We will take the complaint to the court, and out of respect for the family, we have no further comment at this time.”
In the months since the DFEH lawsuit,
Activision Blizzard employees have called for CEO Bobby Kotick to resign, in particular following a Wall Street Journal. Report that revealed the extent of Kotik’s awareness of employee misconduct and sexual harassment. The company also sued the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission last year before agreeing to an $18 million settlement. In January, Microsoft bought Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion, the largest acquisition in Microsoft history.