Riot Games Discrimination Settlement Withdrawn as Plaintiffs Secure New Counsel

The pay discrimination lawsuit against Riot Games will continue as the plaintiffs withdraw a $10 million proposed settlement
The pay discrimination lawsuit against Riot Games will continue as the plaintiffs withdraw a $10 million proposed settlement / Chesnot/Getty Images

New legal counsel for the representatives of the gender discrimination class action lawsuit against Riot has withdrawn the motion for the proposed $10 million settlement.

The $10 million settlement fell apart in the wake of investigations by two California state agencies that suggested the plaintiffs could be entitled to $400 million instead. The investigations, conducted by the Department of Fair Employment and Housing and the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement, took issue with the $10 million figure and suggested the League of Legends developer had colluded with the plaintiffs' previous representation, Rosen & Saba.

A judge was to rule on the validity of Riot Games' role with Rosen & Saba, but the hearing has been indefinitely delayed.

Former Riot Games employees filed the lawsuit in November 2018 alleging violations of the California Equal Pay Act. Approximately 1,000 women who worked at Riot Games from November 2014 until the finalization of the settlement will be entitled to a payout from that settlement.

Class action representatives Melanie McCracken, Jessica Negron and Gabriela Downie chose women's rights attorney Genie Harrison as their replacement legal counsel. Harrison is best known for bringing cases against the Weinstein Company. She joins Joseph Lovretovich, the plaintiffs' employment lawyer.

Riot Games described the $400 million figure as "clickbait," and issued a statement underscoring the need for a settlement "justified by the underlying facts."

"We understand that the plaintiffs' new counsel needs adequate time to review the proposed settlement agreement and we respect that," said Riot Games' spokesperson. "That said, the analysis and discussions which led to the earlier proposed settlement were comprehensive and thorough, and we believe that the proposal was fair and adequate under the circumstances."

Harrison and Lovretovich are seeking expert analysis on the alleged discrimination to determine an appropriate sum for the settlement.

"These brave women spoke out against gender inequality and sexism, and I want to make sure they are fairly compensated," Harrison said.

"Our well-qualified statisticians are already analyzing pay data. We intend to recover the compensation due to the women of Riot Games and achieve institutional reform, in order to level the playing field for women."