Movies & TV

Lucasfilm studio wins appeal of pregnancy discrimination verdict

George Lucas, filmmaker and chairman of the Board of Lucasfilm Ltd.: "It's now time for me to pass Star Wars on to a new generation of filmmakers." (Fred Prouser/Reuters)

LOS ANGELES: A California appeals court on Monday reversed a $1.2 million discrimination verdict against "Star Wars" producer Lucasfilm in a case brought by a woman who said she lost a job at the company because she was pregnant.

A three-judge panel in San Francisco said the jury had received improper instruction before it ruled in favor of the woman, Julie Veronese. In a decision issued on Monday, the judges sent the case back to the trial court for a retrial and reversed the $1.2 million award of attorneys' fees to Veronese.

Veronese claimed in a lawsuit she was offered a job as an assistant at the estate of filmmaker George Lucas in 2008. She said the offer was revoked after she told the company she was pregnant, according to court documents.

Lucasfilm said it was pleased with the appeals court ruling, calling the allegations "without merit."

"Lucasfilm is committed to equal employment opportunity and has a long track record of providing a supportive work environment free of discrimination," the company said in a statement.

Angela Alioto, an attorney for Veronese, said she was considering whether to appeal the case to the California Supreme Court or proceed with a retrial.

Walt Disney Co announced in November it was buying Lucasfilm for $4 billion.

 

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