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Activision Blizzard once again comes under scanner for wrongful death of female employee

Activision Blizzard once again comes under scanner for wrongful death of female employee
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Activision Blizzard once again comes under scanner for wrongful death of female employee 

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Activision Blizzard has come under fire once again as the parents of an employee who died by suicide at a company retreat in 2017 are suing the gaming giant for wrongful death.

According to a report, the parents of 32-year-old Kerri Moynihan, who served as a finance manager at Activision Blizzard, have alleged that the sexual harassment she experienced at the company was a "significant factor" that contributed to her suicide.

Moynihan was found dead in a hotel room at Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa in April 2017. At the time, the investigators ruled her death her suicide. The copy of the new lawsuit viewed by The Post referenced Activision Blizzard's alleged "hostile, intimidating, offensive, and abusive" workplace.

The lawsuit alleges that the company is liable as it failed to stop the sexual harassment and toxic environment that led to her suicide. Moynihan's death was referenced in the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) lawsuit filed last year, although she was not explicitly named.

The lawsuit also accuses Greg Restituito, Moynihan's boss, who hid his sexual relationship with Moynihan to investigators. Restituito worked as senior finance director until May 2017, a month after Moynihan's death. It also alleges that Moynihan faced other forms of sexual harassment at work, citing an incident where a photo of her vagina was passed around during a company party.

Activision Blizzard last year called the DFEH lawsuit's claims "distorted, and in many cases false," and criticized the state department for including mention of the suicide. The family's lawsuit also claims that Greg Restituito, initially lied to investigators who were looking into her death, concealing that he had a sexual relationship with Moynihan.

The lawsuit also claims that Activision Blizzard allegedly refused to give authorities access to both Moynihan and Restituito's company-issued phones and laptops at the time of the investigation into her death. This is not the first time Activision Blizzard has come under fire for sexual harassment allegations as last year's WSJ reporting revealed that CEO Bobby Kotick has been aware of rampant sexual misconduct at the company.

Dwaipayan Bhattacharjee
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