Lead Plaintiff in Harvey Weinstein Class Action RICO Lawsuit Named Chair of Key Committee Overseeing Weinstein Co. Bankruptcy
Louisette Geiss selected to serve as chairwoman on the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors
LOS ANGELES – The lead plaintiffs in the class-action lawsuit pending against Harvey Weinstein, The Weinstein Company (TWC) and certain TWC directors are pleased to announce that lead plaintiff Louisette Geiss has been selected to serve on the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors by the United States Trustee in the bankruptcy case filed by The Weinstein Company last Monday, according to her attorneys at Hagens Berman and The Armenta Law Firm.
After an extensive application and interview process with T. Patrick Tinker, Assistant U.S. Trustee, District of Delaware, Region 3, Ms. Geiss was selected to serve on one of the five seats, along with Sandeep Rehal, William Morris Endeavor, Light Chaser Animation and Access Digital parent company, Cinedigm.
“Hundreds of people were mistreated by The Weinstein Company and lost their ability to work in the entertainment industry because they took a stand. I am proud to have been chosen to vigorously represent the interests of those who courageously said ‘no,’” said Geiss, who was one of the first women to speak up and disclose her harrowing experiences with Harvey Weinstein. Ms. Geiss is a businesswoman, actor, producer, mother and vocal activist in the #MeToo movement.
In this capacity, Ms. Geiss will have a voice in assessing the procedures and wisdom of the sale of the debtor’s assets, proposed by TWC to Lantern Asset Capital Management. Her role will extend to representing all unsecured creditors, including the claims of the victims who were harassed and targeted by Harvey Weinstein, as well as those parties that enabled his systemic sexual harassment.
Ms. Geiss was selected after an extensive interview process, based on her merit, her commitment and her ability to perform the complex function of a member of the committee with tenacity and passion. Ms. Geiss’s candidacy to the committee was supported with letters of support from victims throughout the country, expressing their views of the importance of seating a survivor to the committee.
Ms. Geiss’s work began immediately, with participation in the selection of the professionals who will advise the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors, assessing the quick sale proposed by TWC and participation to ensure that all unsecured creditors are treated fairly, including the victims, whose claims are anticipated to dwarf the claims of the other unsecured creditors such as Viacom and Sony.
Ms. Geiss will be advised by co-lead counsel, Hagens Berman, M. Cris Armenta and Credence Sol of The Armenta Law Firm, Ed Neiger of ASK LLP of New York and Mark Horoupian of SulmeyerKupetz.
“Ms. Geiss has several duties, including determining if the proposed sale is the best transaction. We want to ensure that it will not leave Harvey’s victims without compensation, contrary to what he himself and The Weinstein Company have claimed since October,” said M. Cris Armenta, counsel to the lead plaintiffs and to Ms. Geiss. “The Weinstein Company has a responsibility to ensure that victims’ claims are honored as fairly as its obligations to its other creditors.”
“It is crucial that the victims have a voice on this Committee because this committee will play a vital role in the direction and outcome of the bankruptcy case. Ms. Geiss intends to passionately advocate for the victim constituency as part of her broader duty to all unsecured creditors,” said Ed Neiger.
"While sales in bankruptcy are often designed to cleanse a company of its debts and shield the buyer from successor liability, Ms. Geiss intends to use her position on the Committee to assure that victim claims are adequately addressed through the sale process, and that victims and trade creditors alike are not left holding the bag,” said Mark Horoupian.
The Weinstein Company filed a Chapter 11 Petition in the United States Bankruptcy Court in Delaware last Monday, asking the court for short time frames to potentially approve the sale of all of its assets to a private equity fund with no or scant experience in the entertainment industry. TWC’s attorneys argued to Judge Mary Walrath that interim funding and a quick sale were needed in order to keep existing employees.
Ms. Geiss was one of six plaintiffs who stepped forwarded in December of 2017 to publically sue Harvey Weinstein, Miramax, The Weinstein Company and its board of directors in a class-action lawsuit representing a proposed class of hundreds of actresses who suffered sexual assault, false imprisonment, battery, rape and other heinous sexual acts at the hands of Harvey Weinstein. Find out more about the class action against Harvey Weinstein.
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About Hagens Berman
Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP is a consumer-rights class-action law firm with 11 offices across the country. The firm has been named to the National Law Journal’s Plaintiffs’ Hot List eight times. More about the law firm and its successes can be found at https://www.hbsslaw.com. Follow the firm for updates and news at @ClassActionLaw.
About The Armenta Law Firm
Cris Armenta is the founder of The Armenta Law Firm APC, located in Southern California. Ms. Armenta began her career by clerking for the late Honorable J. Kelleher in the United States District Court for the Central District of California. Cris is an alumni and former Senior Litigation Associate of Skadden Arps Slate Meagher and Flom. Cris’s clients include CEOs, clients with civil and criminal matters needing coordination, and celebrities with crisis management needs. Cris is a past board member of the American Civil Liberties Union in Los Angeles, and a graduate of U.C. Berkeley and Loyola Law School. Cris’s pro bono work is dedicated to finding missing and abducted children. More about Cris and the firm can be found at www.crisarmenta.com
The Armenta Law Firm & Louisette Geiss
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