November 29, 2021

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A judge approved a $17 million sexual misconduct settlement for Weinstein accusers

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Harvey Weinstein exits a Manhattan court house as a jury continues with deliberations in his trial on February 20, 2020. Getty Images/Spencer Platt
  • A judge in Delaware has approved a revised bankruptcy plan for the Weinstein Company.

  • The plan includes giving $17 million in liquidated funds to women who accused disgraced film producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment and misconduct.

  • Fifty-five sexual misconduct claims were filed as part of the bankruptcy case.

  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

A judge in Delaware has approved a revised bankruptcy plan for the Weinstein Company, in which $17 million in liquidated funds will be allotted to women who have accused disgraced film producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment and misconduct.

The $35 million liquidation plan, which comes nearly three years after the Weinstein Company declared bankruptcy, also provides $9.7 million in legal costs for former officers and directors of the company and $8.4 million to a trust resolving non-sexual misconduct claims, according to the Associated Press.

Attorney Beth Fegan, who represented several women in the case, told Insider that the court-approved plan provides a confidential process for Weinstein’s accusers to seek compensation.

“Harvey Weinstein caused irremediable harm with his decades-long, predatory sexual abuse. Judge [Mary] Walrath’s decision is the first step in bringing closure to his victims,” she said in a statement. “The decision paves the way for the creation of a $17 million victims’ fund by which The Weinstein Company-era survivors can apply for meaningful monetary compensation for their injuries in a confidential process.”

Fegan said the process “was supported by 85% of those survivors who voted to approve the plan in the bankruptcy court.” The AP said 55 women filed sexual misconduct claims as part of the case, and 39 of them had approved the settlement plan.

“FeganScott is proud to stand by its survivor-clients, Louisette Geiss, Sarah Ann Masse, and Melissa Thompson, who have unselfishly fought for more than three years for this result, which will benefit all victims,” Fegan said.

A claims examiner will determine how much money accusers will receive in their settlement through a points system, AP reported. The system will allot points for the seriousness of the allegations, corroborating evidence, prior or pending litigation, statutes of limitation, and claims of emotional distress and harm.

Attorneys for women who opposed the plan told the AP that the point system “pits women against women” and puts them in competition for settlement money.

Attorney Paul Zumbro, who represents the Weinstein Company, told CNN that the settlement allows victims to seek compensation “without having to endure the hardships and uncertainties of litigation.”

Imran H. Ansari, an attorney for Weinstein, agreed in a statement to Insider.

“While there are those who continue to rail against the settlement that the court found acceptable today, the practical reality is that outside the settlement the plaintiffs face an uncertain financial recovery, with The Weinstein Company bankrupt, and Mr. Weinstein, who denies the claims against him, with a current and future financial state that is far from healthy,” Ansari said. “Those yelling loudly seem to ignore, for whatever reason, that many parties have wanted this settlement to succeed, importantly, it is not just the Weinstein defendants, but the plaintiffs themselves, who likely recognize that it is the only route to a realistic recovery.”

Weinstein is currently serving a 23-year prison sentence at Wende Correctional Facility in Alden, New York, following a conviction of third-degree rape and forcible sexual assault of two women.

He’s also facing sexual assault charges in Los Angeles, where officials are trying to have him extradited. The LA charges are tied to alleged incidents involving five women between 2004 and 2013.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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