Debra Grassgreen Quoted in Reuters Article Exploring How Corporate Chiefs Dodge Lawsuits Over Sexual Abuse and Deadly Products

November 7, 2022

A recent Reuters Special Report entitled, “How corporate chiefs dodge lawsuits over sexual abuse and deadly products,” explores how bankruptcy courts can serve to shield high-level company executives from legal fallout in the aftermath of massive lawsuits, such as in the case of Harvey Weinstein’s movie studio and major opioid supplier Mallinckrodt, among others.

In the article, the authors note that while Weinstein’s rape conviction and allegations of assault landed him in prison and cost him his career and his movie studio, “one group of wealthy insiders walked away relatively unscathed — the Weinstein Company’s board of directors.” This result stemmed from the Weinstein Company’s Chapter 11 Bankruptcy filing, in which a bankruptcy judge granted the board members lifetime immunity from lawsuits related to the alleged abuse. According to the article, liability releases like this are now granted by judges in 9 of 10 major Chapter 11 cases, which can trouble some victims. However, PSZJ’s Debra Grassgreen, who represented the unsecured creditors, including lawsuit plaintiffs, in the January 2021 court hearing to finalize the Weinstein agreement, shares that most of the claimants who alleged abuse by Weinstein supported the settlement.

“The last thing they want is to have to go through years of public litigation and risk getting nothing at the end,” says Debra. She highlights the “certainty and privacy” offered by the settlement, and later in the article she notes that an additional provision in the Weinstein settlement, in which claimants could opt out of giving lawsuit immunity to Harvey Weinstein himself by agreeing to a reduction in their portion of the settlement payout, gave the women who objected to the liability shields their “day in court against the real bad guy.”

Read the full article below.

How corporate chiefs dodge lawsuits over sexual abuse and deadly products

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