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TV writers settle age discrimination case

January 22, 2010 |  3:41 pm

More than 100 TV writers who alleged they were victims of age discrimination will receive $70 million to settle a decade-old lawsuit.

Typewriter Under a settlement announced Friday, 17 major networks and production studios, along with seven talent agencies, will pay the writers to resolve claims stemming from a class-action lawsuit filed in 2000.

A group of 165 writers, all more than 40 years old, alleged that talent agents systematically discriminated against them by refusing to take them on as clients and refer them for work.

In a jointly issued statement, attorneys for the producers and studios denied any wrongdoing, saying that with "years of disruptive litigation remaining ... it made sense to bring these protracted cases to a close."

About two-thirds of the $70 million will be paid by insurance carriers. The settlement, subject to approval by the state court in Los Angeles, establishes a process for class members to apply for a cash distribution from a settlement fund.

-- Richard Verrier

Photo credit: Brian Hagiwara / Brand X / Corbis