California Court sides with Activision, allowed to take EA to trial
Evidence provided suggest EA abetted ex-Infinity Ward developers to breach contract.
In a press release issued by Activision, the company says that the California Superior Court has denied Electronic Arts for a summary judgement, and has given the ‘go light’ to proceed to trial on its $400 million contract-interference suit against the publisher in relationship to the ex-Infinity Ward developers Jason West and Vince Zampella controversy earlier this year.
Summary judgement, from what the Internet tells us, is when a court rules that no factual issues remain to be tried, and therefore a settlement can be had, based on certain facts, without going to trial.
A summary judgement call from the developers was denied as well.
The press release also states that Judge Elihu Berle found that the evidence presented by Activision “supplied a basis” for a jury to conclude that EA, may have in fact, aided and abetted West and Zampella to breach their contracts.
A jury trial in the case will begin on May 7, 2012.
Activision Publishing, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Activision Blizzard, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI), announced that the Los Angeles Superior Court has denied a motion brought by Electronic Arts, Inc. (EA) for summary judgment, thereby permitting Activision to proceed to trial on its $400 million contract-interference suit against EA.. At a hearing held yesterday, December 21, 2012, Judge Elihu Berle denied EA’s motion, finding that the evidence presented by Activision supplied a basis for a jury to potentially conclude both that EA had intentionally interfered with Activision’s employment agreements with former Call of Duty game developers, Jason West and Vince Zampella, and that EA had aided and abetted West and Zampella’s breach of fiduciary duties to Activision. A related summary judgment motion put forth by West and Zampella was also denied.
In the suit Activision alleges that West and Zampella breached their contracts and duty of loyalty to Activision by conduct that was insubordinate and otherwise improper and that West and Zampella’s misconduct was caused, at least in part, by EA’s unlawful tampering. A jury trial in the case is scheduled to begin on May 7, 2012.