Writers prevail in age discrimination suit


17 networks, producers and talent agencies are going to pay a combined $70M to settle an age discrimination lawsuit brought by some 165 television writers aged 40 or older. $2.5M of that total will be going into a “Fund for the Future,” which will aid writers going forward and look at improving pension and health care funds.

He payees amount to quite an all-star cast of familiar names. They include ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, The WB, UPN, Columbia TriStar Television, Inc., DW SKG TV LLC, Universal Media Studios, Regency Television, Spelling Television, The Carsey-Werner Company LLC, Touchstone Television, Twentieth Century Fox Television, and Warner Bros. Television) and the defendant talent agencies (APA, The Endeavor Agency, The Gersh Agency, Paradigm Talent & Literary Agency, Shapiro-Lichtman, UTA, and the William Morris Agency LLC.

“I speak for all class counsel in recommending that all settlement class members accept the settlement. We are honored to represent a distinguished and talented group of clients and class members,” stated Sprenger. Plaintiffs and the settlement classes were also represented by, among others, the law firms of Sprenger & Lang, PLLC, Kator Parks & Weiser, PLLC, Law Office of Daniel Wolf, Schwartz, Steinsapir, Dohrmann & Sommers LLP, the AARP Foundation Litigation, Katz, Marshall & Banks, and Blecher & Collins.

“We were fully prepared to oppose class certification and would have prevailed at trial if necessary,” said Seth E. Pierce, of Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP, Defendants’ Liaison Counsel. “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.”