The Rhode Island General Assembly introduced a new bill on Wednesday “at the request” of Governer Lincoln Chafee’s administration, which would resolve the $75 million debt caused by a loan given to 38 Studios.
The bill addresses “court-approved settlements,” stating that “a person, corporation, or other entity who has resolved its liability to the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation in a judicially approved good faith settlement is not liable for claims for contribution or equitable indemnity regarding matters addressed in the settlement.”
“The bill is specific only to the 38 Studios lawsuit and is done to encourage a settlement,” House Judiciary Chairwoman Edith Ajello (D-Providence) said in a statement. “The bill makes it clear that the credit to the non-settling defendants is limited to the amount of money paid by the settling defendants. It eliminates the uncertainty of determining what the percentage of fault is among all the defendants, which may not be determined for many years in the event of a jury trial.”
In 2010, Rhode Island green-lit a $75 million loan to 38 Studios. In 2012, the studio went bankrupt leaving $112 million in debts. In September, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) began an investigation into the loan, which was given to 38 Studios by the state of Rhode Island’s Economic Development Corporation (EDC). The EDC has since been renamed the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation (RICC).