Jason West and Vincent Zampella Lawsuit Gets Approval to Go Forward

June 20, 2011 -

The lawsuit against Activision from former Infinity Ward heads Jason West and Vincent Zampella soldiers on, thanks to a ruling from a Los Angeles Superior Court judge. The judge ruled June 14 that  there were sufficient facts to support the duo's allegations that Activision defrauded them by firing them shortly before significant royalty payments were due. The lawsuit was first filed in March 2010.

The two former heads of the Activision subsidiary Infinity Ward were terminated by the company after it conducted an investigation that allegedly turned up breaches of contract, insubordination, and violations of company policy. The duo allege wrongful termination that cost them more than $125 million in royalties. West and Zampella further allege that Activision had promised them the right to creative control to the Call of Duty series and increased royalty payments on future games.

Activision countered with a lawsuit accusing the pair of being "self-serving schemers who attempted to hijack Activision's assets for their own personal gain." Activision also detailed some of its findings from the internal investigation in which top executives at rival publisher Electronic Arts had called the two and urged them to quit the company, even though they were under contract. They named EA as a co-defendant in the countersuit that claims "tortious interference, unfair competition, and breaches of fiduciary duty." For its side of the lawsuit Activision is seeking $400 million in damages.

In March, Superior Court judge Elihu Berle ruled that Activision had sufficient claims against Electronic Arts to go forward. On Tuesday, the judge ruled that West and Zampella had sufficient claims against Activision. Expect a trial by late 2011 or early 2012, assuming there are no further complications in court.

Source: Hollywood Reporter


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