Tue. Aug 4th, 2020

Weinstein Sexual Abuse Class Action Settlement Challenged As “Unjust and Vile” As Multiple Accusers Object

One of the women at the core of a class action complaint against Harvey Weinstein says she was fired as a client by her lawyers for not being “deferential” enough and for voicing her concerns about the terms of a proposed settlement.

 She’s one of several Harvey Weinstein accusers asking a New York federal judge to deny preliminary approval of the deal.

Zoe Brock on Friday filed an opposition to the settlement  and told the court that she’d been dropped by Elizabeth Fegan. In a Dec. 18, 2019 email attached to the filing, Fegan writes, “It is clear that our relationship has deteriorated to the point that it cannot be reconciled,” and advises Brock to find new attorneys either at the other firm representing the Weinstein class of accusers, Hagens Berman, or elsewhere. 

“While Ms. Brock is a named Plaintiff in this case and is listed in the Amended Complaint as a class representative, she was excluded from the settlement negotiations in this matter,” writes attorney Daniel D. Williams in the filing. “When proposed settlement terms were disclosed to Ms. Brock last fall, she vocally objected that the terms of the settlement were inadequate to hold Mr. Weinstein, his enablers, and his companies responsible for the harm they had caused. Ms. Brock also had voiced serious concerns that the compensation proposed for Fegan and Hagans was excessive and did not put their clients first. Once Ms. Brock voiced those concerns, Attorney Fegan notified Ms. Brock that she would no longer represent her.”

In a footnote in Fegan’s reply to the filing, the attorney disputes that characterization. “Ms. Brock has put what she asserts is the reason for Fegan Scott’s termination of her at issue, apparently waiving the attorney-client privilege,” it reads. “While her accusations are inaccurate, they are a red herring not relevant to preliminary approval. If the Court would like a declaration regarding the facts and timeline, Ms. Fegan will provide one upon the Court’s request.”

Brock is arguing the settlement should be rejected because the victims’ fund is being funded by insurance companies, so Weinstein and the other executives who are accused of enabling the alleged conduct are paying nothing. 

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Written By: Tommy Lightfoot Garrett

Photographs are Courtesy: AP

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