TV Companies Settle Writers Age Bias Suits for $70 Million

By Staff Report

Jan. 26, 2010

Seventeen television networks and production studios and seven talent agencies have reached a $70 million settlement in 19 age discrimination cases brought by 165 television writers.

About two-thirds of the settlement will be paid by insurers, according to a joint announcement by both sides in the dispute. An attorney did not respond to a call seeking further information.

The settlement affecting TV writers 40 and older, announced January 20, is subject to approval by the California Superior Court in Los Angeles.

The parties have been litigating the claims for almost 10 years, according to the statement. Defendants, who deny the plaintiffs’ allegations, include ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox.

“We were fully prepared to oppose class certification and would have prevailed at trial if necessary,” liaison counsel Seth E. Pierce, a partner with Mitchell Silberberg & Krupp in Los Angeles, said in the statement. “But with years of disruptive litigation remaining, and all networks and major television studios and talent agencies participating in the settlement, it made sense to bring these protracted cases to a close.”

Filed by Judy Greenwald of Business Insurance, a sister publication of Workforce Management. To comment, e-mail

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