Content warning: this article contains references to sexual harassment, suicide, and abusive behaviour
June 2 2022 Update: The parents of Kerri Moynihan have requested their lawsuit against Activision Blizzard be dismissed "with prejudice", and as such if successful, cannot be filed again, as reported by Axios.
The original news article below remains unedited
The parents of an Activision Blizzard employee have filed a lawsuit against the games company after their daughter took her own life during a work retreat in 2017. The suit alleges wrongful death, sexual harassment, and failure to prevent harassment.
The lawsuit specifically alleges that Kerri Moynihan, an accountant and finance manager at Activision, was subjected to “unwanted sexual harassment”, in addition to distress caused by a “hostile, intimidating, offensive, oppressive, and abusive” workplace.
Moynihan was involved in an intimate relationship with her supervisor, Greg Restituito, at the time of her death. Restituito was married with a newborn child at the time, and documents show he was in contact with Moynihan 30 minutes before she took her own life.
The suit alleges that Restituito lied to law enforcement during the investment and both he and Activision withheld relevant documents and information.
"Unwanted sexual harassment"
The suit also refers to an incident at an Activision Blizzard holiday retreat in 2016, in which male employees allegedly passed around a picture of Moynihan’s genitals.
Paul and Janet Moynihan, suing on behalf of their daughter, began procedings after learning about the two-year investigation by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) that detailed the culture of sexual harassment, abuse, and unequal pay against women at Activision Blizzard.
An Activision Blizzard spokesperson stated the company was “deeply saddened by the tragic death of Ms Moynihan, who was a valued member of the company”.
Sexual harassment and abuse remains a widespread problem in the games industry, similarly reflected in DFEH’s legal action against Riot in August 2021.