In what must be one of the most unsurprising and yet oddly timed legal moves you could expect, the studio has filed motions to have all of the actions against it over last year’s hacking dismissed. This comes just 3 weeks after Michael Corona and Christina Mathis and the other plaintiffs requested to have their respective suit consolidated into a single class action – a request Sony said at the time that it had no problem with. Waiting a ruing on that matter, it’s fighting a war with each individual case.
“Neither plaintiff, however, claims to have suffered any concrete injury,” said the studio in filings Monday against Corona and Mathis, who on December 15 were the first to file suit against Sony after the hacking of late November last year threw the personal info of thousands of current and former employees out on the internet. Most of the other 6 class action lawsuits from Joshua Forster and Ella Carline Archibeque, Michael Levine and Felix Lionel, Marcela Bailey, and Steven Shapiro as well Lawon Exum and Anastasio Garcia Rodriguez followed fairly quickly. Late last week studio boss Amy Pascal fell partial victim to the hacking herself as she lost her perch at Sony after 9 years running the place. Pascal ended up with production deal that will see SOny funding her for 4 years to the tune of somewhere between $30 and $40 million dollars and allowing her a choice pick of projects.
“There are no allegations of identity theft, no allegations of fraudulent charges, and no allegations of misappropriation of medical information,” the February 9 accompanying memorandum to the motion from Sony this week to get rid of Corona and Mathis’ suit notes (read it here). “Instead, the plaintiffs assert a broad range of common-law and statutory causes of action based on their alleged fear of an increased risk of future harm, as well as expenses they claim to have incurred to prevent that future harm,” the 21-page document by David C. Marcus and William F. Lee of LA’s Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale And Dorr adds. “Those allegations, however, fail as a matter of law to establish the plaintiffs’ standing to sue.”
It is pretty much the same in all of Sony’s responses to the other suits as well. The studio has requested a March 16 hearing in federal court in LA in front of Judge R. Gary Klausne on its motions to dismiss.
A February 23 hearing is already set on the matter of consolidating the seven class actions into one. All of which means Sony might find itself fighting the same battle on a new front.
Matthew J. Preusch and Lynn Lincoln Sarko of Santa Barbara firm Keller Rohrback, Michael W. Sobol of San Fran firm Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, and Daniel C. Girard of the Bay Area’s Girard Gibbs would serve as interim co-lead class counsel on the case if it gets the consolidation go ahead. Keller would be the liaison counsel for all plaintiffs.