Wrongful death suit against Activision dropped by suicide victim’s family

Jon Yelenic, Thursday, June 2nd, 2022 6:38 pm

Content Warning: Sexual harassment and suicide.

The parents of Kerri Moynihan–an Activision Blizzard employee who committed suicide at a 2017 company retreat–have requested that a California court dismiss their wrongful death lawsuit previously brought against Activision. 

As spotted by Axios, the family requested dismissal on May 6, and further requested the suit be dismissed “with prejudice,” which will prevent the suit from being refiled going forward. 

The family initially filed a wrongful death suit against Activision Blizzard last March. In the complaint, Moynihan’s parents claimed that sexual harassment at the company–allegations of which were brought to light last year–played a “significant factor” in Moynihan’s suicide. 

The complaint also stated that Moynihan’s boss, Greg Restituito, lied to investigators looking into Moynihan’s death by not disclosing that he had a sexual relationship with her. Additionally, Activision was alleged to have not cooperated with police during the investigation by refusing to turn over company-issued laptops and cellphones belonging to Moynihan and Restituito.

Moynihan was first mentioned anonymously in a California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) lawsuit filed against Activision in July 2021. 

“In a tragic example of the harassment that [Activision Blizzard] allowed to fester in their offices, a female employee committed suicide while on a company trip due to a sexual relationship that she had been having with her male supervisor,” the complaint reads

The complaint also alleged that Moynihan faced other forms of sexual harassment at the company, including one instance where male co-workers reportedly passed around a photo of her vagina at a holiday party.

Neither Activision nor the Moynihan family have commented on the wrongful death suit’s dismissal. The company criticized the DFEH last year for including Moynihan’s death in the July 2021 lawsuit, claiming that her death “has no bearing whatsoever on this case.”

Throughout the past year, Activision has been hit with a handful of lawsuits from both governmental and private entities. In addition to the aforementioned DFEH and the now-dropped wrongful death suit, New York City officials hit the company with a complaint last month that alleged the company’s proposed buyout by Microsoft was being rushed by Activision CEO Bobby Kotick to escape liability for the company’s sexual harassment scandal. The company was also sued by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) on grounds of sexual harassment and discrimination, but the suit ended in an $18 million settlement.

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