7 Class Action Lawsuits Over Sony Hack to Become One Case

A motion to combine all legal filings went unopposed by the embattled studio

A California federal judge is considering a motion to combine seven class action lawsuits filed by Sony Pictures employees into one, according to court documents obtained by TheWrap.

The suits came after November’s studio hack, that dumped thousands of personal employee documents on filesharing sites including their medical records, social security numbers and emails.

“Consolidation will eliminate duplication of effort and make litigating the case more convenient and efficient for the parties and the Court,” the papers read. Sony, referred to as SPE, did not oppose the ruling. A decision is expected in February.

“Plaintiffs in each of the cases generally allege that SPE failed to maintain adequate security policies and practices to protect Plaintiffs’ information,” the suit goes on to say.

One reason Sony wouldn’t oppose a bulked-up lawsuit is that it expedites their legal efforts in getting all seven dismissed — one suit filed means only one to defeat.

“While SPE does not oppose Plaintiffs’ assertion that these cases ‘involve a common question of law or fact’ for purposes of consolidation, SPE disputes that any of these actions can be prosecuted on a class basis and will oppose any motion Plaintiffs may bring thereunder,” Sony’s legal team said on Monday, according to media reports.

Meanwhile, day-to-day operations continue at the Culver City lot with leadership trying to remain optimistic.

CEO Michael Lynton wrote an upbeat memo at the top of the year trying to galvanize staffers for their resilience.

“Over the past six weeks, I have seen incredible tenacity, resilience, and grit. This inspires me, and gives me great confidence that we will not only recover, but thrive because of what we’ve been through,” Lynton wrote at the time.

“We will take what we have learned from this experience and innovate our business together. We will continue to renew and redefine Sony Pictures.”

For the record: An earlier version of this story said a judge had approved the motion to consolidate the class action lawsuits, but the motion is still under consideration. TheWrap regrets the error. 

Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.