It has been one of the hot topics in the Anime Community regarding Voice Actor Vic Mignogna, but now there is an update regarding his recent court battle.
According to a new update from Anime News Network’s Alex Mateo, Vic Mignogna was denied a Court Rehearing Request on September 29th, and En Banc Reconsideration (in which all of the judges of an appellate court participate in the rehearing) in his defamation lawsuit against Funimation, voice actresses Jamie Marchi and Monica Rial, and Rial’s fiance Ron Toye. The court has maintained its ruling made on August 18th against Mignogna.
He made the requests for a court hearing and En Banc Reconsideration on September 20th. Mignogna first had asked for an extension for post-appeal motions, which is 15 days after a court of appeals judgment is issued. However, the court issued its judgment against the voice actor on August 18th. But he requested an extension to file rehearing motions to October 17th, stating that his counsel did not have enough time to analyze the results. The court granted an extension to September 20th.
If you’re not familiar with this case or just need a refresher, let’s take a look at the background of this case. Please Note: Vic Mignogna has maintained his innocence of the allegations against him.
What was this about?
In August, Texas’s Second Court of Appeals upheld the Tarrant County District Court’s November 2019 judgment against the voice actor. In his defamation suit against his former employer Funimation, voice actresses Jamie Marchi and Monica Rial, and Rial’s fiance, Ron Toye. The court, however, also determined that the attorney’s fee amount that was awarded to Rial and Toye was less than what was “supported by “factually sufficient evidence.”
The appeals court ordered the Tarrant County District Court to redetermine the awards that Vic Mignogna would have to pay Rial and Toye for their attorney fees. The appeals court rejected all points of his appeal and affirmed the original ruling of the trial court. The Appeals Court even ruled that Mignogna “pay all costs of the appeal.”
The Tarrant County District Court awarded Rial and Toye with $100,000 in attorney fees. Rial and Toye contended the amount was less than the amount of $282,953.80 in attorney’s fees they requested and provided evidence for. In examining all of the evidence, the Texas Second Court of Appeals’ majority stated the trial court “failed to factor in all of the testimony addressing expertise and experience, as well as the distinction between a large firm’s billing rate and a small firm’s billing rate,” the latter referring to the attorney’s fees awarded by the trial court to Jamie Marchi, who had the lowest attorney’s fees among the defendants.
Throughout his career, Vic Mignogna has received multiple allegations of sexual harassment from both his colleagues, and fans/convention attendees, which finally came to a head in 2019, when Funimation ceased its working relationship with him. He then sued both Funimation and his former colleagues Jamie Marchi, Monica Rial, and her fiancee Ron Toye for defamation. Both lawsuits were dismissed by the court. The Judge ruled that Vic must pay $223,042.42 in attorneys’ fees to the defendants. The judgment also ordered him to pay US$15,000 in sanctions, for a total of $238,042.42. Additionally, the judgment listed $287,500 in contingent fees that Mignogna may have to pay if he chose to appeal.
The trial court based its decision based on the Texas Citizens Participation Act, like several other states, Texas passed a statute to prevent SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation), or lawsuits filed to stifle other people’s freedoms of speech, association, and petition.
Since the course of this lawsuit, there have been multiple witnesses and alleged victims of the voice actor’s sexual advances have come forward, which include voice actress Kara Edwards, underage con attendees, convention staff, and industry professionals.
Source: Anime News Network
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