Almost three years after the Weinstein Co. declared chapter, a decide on Monday confirmed a liquidation plan that gives a $17.1 million fund for Weinstein’s sexual misconduct victims.
The plan additionally supplies $9.7 million to the previous officers and administrators of the Weinstein Co., permitting them to pay a portion of their authorized payments during the last a number of years. The administrators and officers — who embody Weinstein’s brother, Bob, in addition to James Dolan, Tarak Ben Ammar and Lance Maerov — additionally obtained releases that absolve them of any potential legal responsibility for enabling Weinstein’s conduct.
U.S. Chapter Choose Mary Walrath accepted the plan after a listening to in Delaware, saying that with out the settlement, Weinstein’s victims would get “minimal, if any, restoration.”
The liquidation plan wraps up a contentious and long-running authorized battle over the remnants of Weinstein’s impartial studio. The corporate collapsed in late 2017, following the disclosure of dozens of allegations of rape, sexual assault, harassment and different misconduct.
A number of insurance coverage carriers can pay out a complete of $35.2 million to resolve all of the remaining claims, together with these from the Weinstein Co.’s commerce collectors.
The $17 million victims’ fund will likely be divided amongst greater than 50 claimants, with probably the most critical allegations leading to payouts of $500,000 or extra. The settlement was put to a vote of Weinstein’s victims, with 39 voting in favor and eight opposed.
Ruby Liu, an legal professional representing the objectors, argued Monday that the settlement fund is “meager” and that the deal deprives her purchasers of the chance to pursue Bob Weinstein and different administrators in court docket.
“There are greater than financial concerns that my purchasers are searching for,” she mentioned. “They’re searching for a discovering from a jury that holds all accountable events accountable. That’s not simply Harvey Weinstein.”
Paul Zumbro, an legal professional representing the Weinstein Co. property, argued that the deal was the perfect one obtainable for the victims. With out releasing the administrators and officers, the insurance coverage corporations wouldn’t have been keen to pay out.
A number of attorneys who supported the plan argued it’s higher to give nearly all of the claimants “closure,” slightly than forcing all of the claimants to endure years of litigation for an unsure end result.
“That is the perfect we’re going to do,” mentioned Debra Grassgreen, an legal professional for the unsecured collectors committee.
An earlier model of the settlement would have offered a $24.3 million payout to victims, together with ladies who alleged they have been abused within the “Miramax” period, which predated 2005. However Choose Alvin Hellerstein rejected the deal, saying the category motion go well with that included the Miramax-era victims was not viable. The settlement was later revised to exclude Miramax, Disney and their insurers.
A portion of the protection price payout was initially earmarked for Harvey Weinstein’s protection. That funding was stripped out of the plan. The civil claimants nonetheless have the choice to pursue Harvey Weinstein in civil court docket, although many of the attorneys concerned imagine he has few property that might be recovered.
The majority of the Weinstein’s Co.’s property have been offered in 2018 to Lantern Capital, a Dallas-based personal fairness agency, for $289 million. These funds have been used to pay the corporate’s secured collectors.