TV Writers Age Discrimination Cases New Developments

TV Writers Age Discrimination Cases New Developments

WGA East members are eligible for monetary relief from the ICM $4.5 million settlement. Go to www.writerscase.com/icm for the complete Notice and Claim Form directed by the Court.

More than 3,000 past and current WGA East members will receive a mailed Notice from the Settlement Administrator in the TV Writers Age Discrimination Cases pending in Los Angeles County Superior Court informing eligible members how to apply for an award of monetary damages and/or work opportunities from the recent settlement of the first two of 23 class actions pending against the industry’s major networks, studios and talent agencies. The settlement was given preliminary approval by the Court on September 4, 2008. The Court will conduct a hearing to consider final approval on November 3, 2008.

The settlement does not apply to staff members if they never worked for a major network or studio in a TV writing position covered by the MBA. All members should check the class definition in the http://www.writerscase.com court ordered web posted notice and/or consult with counsel to see whether they are within the class definition and thus may be eligible for benefits.

The $4.5 million settlement with ICM (and Broder Kurland Webb Agency, which was acquired by ICM) represents about 3% or 4% of the total damages exposure in the pending industry-wide litigation according to Plaintiffs’ Lead Counsel Paul Sprenger in papers filed with the Court setting out the bases for the settlement. The extensive settlement papers are available to download online at http://www.writerscase.com/icm.

"It is not a secret that Class Counsel are in confidential mediations with counsel for most of the networks, studios and agencies. Both sides have worked in good faith with the obvious expectation that further mediated resolutions will ultimately be announced to WGA members," according to Class Counsel Steve Sprenger. Go to http://www.sprengerlang.com/ or http://www.katorparks.com/ for contact information for the Class Counsel representing class members.

If you are a class member, you are entitled to consult free of charge with Class Counsel Steve Sprenger of Sprenger + Lang or Maia Caplan of Kator Parks & Weiser. You may also consult any lawyer of your choice at your own expense.

"The settlement offers potential benefits for many of our older TV writer members who worked in covered jobs for the major employers in the industry. Our members who are included in the class definition should read the full Notice and consult with counsel concerning their rights and potential benefits under the settlement," said Lowell Peterson, WGA East Executive Director.