FeganScott represents more than a dozen women in the entertainment industry who allege that Harvey Weinstein, The Weinstein Company (“TWC”), other companies owned by Weinstein, and their respective officers, directors, and executives facilitated Harvey Weinstein’s decades-long pattern of unlawful sexual harassment and sexual assault.
Filed in November 2017, the lawsuit alleges that Harvey Weinstein was a serial sexual harasser and abuser, and the various companies with which he was affiliated, as well their officers and directors, failed to stop or prevent his actions in violation of federal and state law.
As a long-time advocate for society’s most vulnerable individuals, FeganScott’s Beth Fegan was at the forefront of negotiating a global settlement agreement to create a survivors’ fund, allowing women who were abused by Harvey Weinstein to make claims for damages in a confidential and non-adversarial process. The settlement was supported by the New York State Office of the Attorney General, which sued Harvey Weinstein and TWC in February 2018 based on violations of state and city human rights laws. However, the federal district court in the Southern District of New York declined to grant preliminary approval citing concerns that survivors would prefer to proceed alone and not as part of the class.
Given that FeganScott was working closely with many survivors who desired a resolution that would not require them to proceed alone, Beth Fegan and FeganScott remained committed to seeking meaningful resolution and holding the defendants accountable. As a result, the portion of the survivors’ settlement fund and claims process for TWC-era survivors was transitioned to the bankruptcy court in the District of Delaware, where the TWC debtors had filed for bankruptcy. There, survivors voted overwhelmingly in favor of the bankruptcy plan of reorganization, which included the TWC survivors’ settlement fund.
With the bankruptcy court’s confirmation of the plan on January 25, 2021 and once any appeals are resolved, survivors of Harvey Weinstein’s abuse after June 30, 2005 will have the opportunity to submit claims for damages in the same confidential and non-adversarial process that was contemplated in the filed lawsuit. This is significant because, without this process, any sexual misconduct claims would have been compensated only after secured creditors were paid in full and each individual survivor went to trial on her individual claim, reducing the survivors’ chances of recovery. In other words, the survivors would have been lumped with the estimated $250 million in unsecured creditor claims filed in the bankruptcy proceedings.
Because of FeganScott’s advocacy, however, with the confirmation of the bankruptcy plan, victims of Harvey Weinstein’s sexual abuse will have the opportunity to be heard in a safe and confidential process and seek compensation for their injuries. This outcome also would not have been possible without Fegan Scott’s brave and resilient clients, who brought the lawsuit and, in the face of adverse rulings, continued to advocate for a fund for all survivors.