Activision Blizzard's request to pause its ongoing lawsuit has been rejected.
The developer and publisher tried to put the suit on hold following an ongoing battle between the Department for Employment and Housing—the state department currently suing Activision Blizzard for discrimination and sexual harassment—and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The EEOC had also brought a lawsuit against Activision Blizzard, which was settled on the same day it went public for $18 million (thanks, Law360).
The DFEH opposed the settlement, saying that it would cause “irreparable harm” to its own lawsuit. The EEOC then hit back, revealing that two of the lawyers heading up the DFEH case had formerly worked with the EEOC on its own investigation into Activision Blizzard—the same investigation that led to the settlement.
That's a pretty big ethics violation and a conflict of interest, something which Activision Blizzard could use to get the case thrown out entirely. It's tried to use this hiccup to its advantage, arguing that it needs time to investigate the EEOC's accusations. But it seems that LA County judge Timothy Patrick Dillon is having none of it, rejecting the request to stay the suit. No reason was given for the denial.
The rejection likely won't deter Activision Blizzard from using the whole mess in its defence. While it hasn't been able to buy itself any respite, the debacle can still be used against the DFEH as a way to cripple the suit. It's been a long and arduous few months since the suit was filed, and an outcome seems unlikely anytime soon—though lawyers have offered up their opinion in our timeline of the lawsuit.