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Two plaintiff law firms in the Harvey Weinstein litigation filed objections to preliminary approval of a proposed class settlement in federal court Monday.
A jury found the former movie producer guilty of rape and sexual assault in March and he was sentenced to a 23-year prison sentence.
It was reported in December that the bulk of a tentative $47 million settlement of litigation against Mr. Weinstein, of which $25 million will compensate his accusers, will be paid for by insurers, plaintiff attorneys said.
“The class settlement filed in the name of class representatives who deserve better will provide little relief for most of Harvey Weinstein’s victims,” says the filing by plaintiff law firms Wigdor LP and the law office of Kevin Mintzer P.C. in Louisette Geiss et al., individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated v. The Weinstein Co. Holdings, LLC, et al.; Jill Doe, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, v. The Weinstein Co. Holdings, LLC, et al. Both law firms are New York-based.
“The truth is that the average award to class members under this proposal is likely to be in the range of $10,000 to $20,000. The main winners of this deal, if approved, are Harvey Weinstein, Robert Weinstein, and the ultra-wealthy former directors of The Weinstein Company…, who will be absolved or liability, contribute nothing to the settlement and collectively take in about $15 million from the proposed settlement agreement,” the filing states.
“Another victor in this settlement, were it to be approved, is Class Counsel, who had no business filing this case as a class action, litigated it into the ground, shut out ‘uncooperative’ plaintiffs from settlement negotiations, and now look to collect about $5 million in attorneys’ fees.”
Defense and other plaintiff attorneys in the case did not respond to requests for comment.
However, a motion for preliminary approval of the class action settlement by settlement class representatives, dated Sunday — which was filed by other plaintiff attorneys in the case in response to an earlier objection made by the Wigdor firm to the settlement — states the proposed settlement allows all class members “to file their objections to the Settlement after preliminary approval once Notice is issued,” and that the objection is “premature and misinformed.”