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Activision Blizzard Suit Claims Sexual Harassment Led to Employee Suicide

Activision Blizzard has been sued by the family of the woman who committed suicide and was referenced in the California DFEH lawsuit last July.
Activision Blizzard has been sued by the family of the woman who committed suicide and was referenced in the California DFEH lawsuit last July. / Activision Blizzard

The family of a former Activision Blizzard employee is suing the company for wrongful death after her death by suicide.

The complaint was filed Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court by Paul and Janet Moynihan, the parents of Kerri Moynihan — a 32-year-old finance manager at Activision Blizzard who was found dead in a hotel room during a company retreat in 2017, the Washington Post reports. The complaint claims that sexual harassment experienced at the company, broadly, was a factor in Moynihan's death.

The Washington Post report adds that the Moynihans' lawsuit also claims that their daughter’s boss, Greg Restituito, initially lied to investigators in the Anaheim Police Department who were looking into her death, among other apparent efforts taken to conceal that he had a sexual relationship with Moynihan.

According to what appears to be his LinkedIn profile, Restituito worked as a senior finance director for Activision Blizzard until May 2017, the month after Moynihan’s death.

Though it did not name Moynihan, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing lawsuit filed against Activision Blizzard last summer referred to her story as an example of the workplace fairness violations taking place in the company's "pervasive frat boy workplace culture," — the same violations that allegedly culminated in her suicide. The DFEH complaint alleged Moynihan experienced "intense sexual harassment" during a business trip, including, but not limited to, having photos of her genitalia passed around at a holiday party.

The DFEH complaint’s allegations also referenced a "male supervisor" who allegedly brought sex toys with him on the business trip.

According to The Washington Post, an Activision Blizzard spokesperson declined to respond directly to the allegations in the lawsuit, saying in a statement that the company is "deeply saddened by the tragic death of Ms. Moynihan, who was a valued member of the company. We will address the complaint through the legal process as appropriate, and out of respect for the family we have no further comment at this time."