Activision Blizzard sued for employee's suicide
Workplace harassment, according to Kerri Moynihan's parents, was a "major factor" in her death.
The parents of an Activision Blizzard employee who committed suicide during a company retreat in 2017 are suing the company for wrongful death, according to a report by The Washington Post.
Paul and Janet Moynihan, the parents of Kerri Moynihan, a deceased 32-year-old finance manager at Activision Blizzard, allege sexual harassment was a “significant factor” which contributed to her death.
After she was found dead in a hotel room at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa in April 2017, investigators ruled Moynihan’s death a suicide.
As noted by the Post, Moynihan was anonymously referenced in the lawsuit filed by California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) last July, which sued Activision Blizzard for allegedly fostering a toxic culture of “constant sexual harassment.”
Her male coworkers allegedly distributed around a photo of her vagina at a holiday party before her death, according to the DFEH's complaint. Activision Blizzard stated the DFEH's charges were “distorted, and in many cases false.”
Activision Blizzard "fostered and permitted a work climate in which sexual harassment was pervasive," according to a copy of the latest lawsuit seen by The Washington Post, and it failed "to prevent such harassment." It also accuses Greg Restituito, Moynihan's employer, of concealing his sexual contact with him from investigators.
Restituito worked as Activision Blizzard’s senior finance director until May 2017, one month after Moynihan died by suicide.
Activision Blizzard allegedly refused to give police access to both Moynihan and Restituito’s company-issued phones and laptops during the investigation of Moynihan’s death, according to the suit.
Activision Blizzard has been embroiled in controversy since last year’s lawsuit: Months after employees staged a walkout to protest workplace discrimination, The Wall Street Journal dropped a bombshell report alleging Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick has been aware of rampant sexual misconduct at the company — Kotick still remains the CEO after employees and shareholders called for his resignation.
Microsoft announced its acquisition of Activision Blizzard in January, with Kotick staying on as the company's CEO until the deal was complete in 2023.