Former RI EDC Employees Say 38 Studios Settlement Law is ‘Unconstitutional’

Two former employees of the R.I. Economic Development Corporation on Monday formally objected to a proposed settlement in the long-running 38 Studios civil case, noting that a law passed by the legislature in the beginning of the year that made making individual settlements easier is unconstitutional under Rhode Island's state constitution.

Lawyers for former EDC executive director Keith Stokes and deputy director J. Michael Saul, who served as its deputy director, have asked a R.I. Superior Court judge to block the settlement. Lawyers for Stokes and Saul say that the law is "fundamentally unfair," because it makes it so that they cannot rely on the insurance policies available to Afonso and other lawyers to pay legal costs such as the proposed settlement.

Antonio Afonso and his firm Moses Afonso Ryan Ltd. agreed to pay $4.37 million from the law firm's insurance policy "to put this matter behind them" last week. Afonso served as bond counsel to the EDC on the deal.

Stokes and Saul asked Superior Court Judge Michael A. Silverstein to block the settlement. Silverstein is expected to consider the matter Tuesday during a court hearing in Providence.

The settlement law was introduced earlier this year and relates directly to the lawsuit filed against 14 individuals involved in the $75 million load deal for Curt Schilling's now bankrupt game development studio.

We will have more on this story as it develops.

Source: Providence Journal

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