LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Macias Counsel today announced the filing of a wrongful termination lawsuit for an employee who repeatedly alerted officers and directors at Ascent Media Corp. (NASDAQ: ASCMA) wholly-owned subsidiaries about workplace drug abuse, and who says he was summarily fired for reporting such abuse, (Andrew MacDonald vs. Ascent Media Group, Inc., Ascent Media Group, LLC., Method Studios et. al, Los Angeles Superior Court, Case No BC 444911, amended complaint, September 29, 2010).
Plaintiff Andrew MacDonald is a digital artist who specializes in visual effects and post-production in the entertainment industry. He was creative director of R!OT before it merged with Method Studios, a post-production facility in Los Angeles that provides visual effect services. Both R!OT and Method Studios were Ascent-owned visual effects studios. Following the merger, MacDonald says he informed several supervisors that he was concerned about cocaine use by his new supervisor at Method.
"Andrew was told not to worry, that the company was aware of the issue and it would be taken care of internally," says Sean Macias, managing partner of Macias Counsel, Inc. a Pasadena law firm and co-counsel representing MacDonald. "Nothing was done. The problem just got worse."
Eventually, MacDonald entered into discussions with Jośe Royo, then COO of Ascent Media Corp. and president and CEO of Ascent Media Group, to finalize a new employment contract with Method Studios. "At that point, MacDonald again brought up his concerns about drug use," says Macias. "It wasn't just MacDonald who noticed the problem. It was an open secret at the company. Other employees even nicknamed the office the 'Crinkle Club' because drugs were so pervasive."
According to the lawsuit, MacDonald was warned not to undermine his supervisor since Ascent had invested significant money into the merger of R!OT and Method Studios and the employee was a key figure in the deal. “Drug use and abuse at Ascent was becoming a serious problem,” according to Richard Sherman, managing partner of the Sherman Law Group in Beverly Hills and plaintiff co-counsel.
"At least four other Ascent employees had complained about drug use to Ascent's human resources department," says Sean Macias. "Andrew's firing was retaliation for being honest with upper management who didn't want to listen to the truth and do the right thing."
For a copy of the complaint, contact Diane Rumbaugh, 805-493-2877, firstname.lastname@example.org.