NEW YORK • The company could have taken steps to curb Harvey Weinstein's behaviour, but did not.
On Sunday, the state of New York filed a lawsuit against the producer, his brother and their eponymous production company for "egregious violations" of civil rights, human rights and business laws.
The suit comes four months after the Hollywood mogul's career ended in disgrace over mushrooming allegations of sexual harassment, assault and rape levelled against him by more than 100 women.
State attorney-general Eric Schneiderman said the lawsuit was filed in New York County Supreme Court and included new allegations about Weinstein's "vicious and exploitative mistreatment" of employees.
It accuses the company's board and executives of repeatedly failing to take adequate steps to protect staff or rein in his behaviour, despite multiple complaints.
"As alleged in our complaint, The Weinstein Company repeatedly broke New York law by failing to protect its employees from pervasive sexual harassment, intimidation and discrimination," said Mr Schneiderman.
"Any sale of The Weinstein Company must ensure that victims will be compensated, employees will be protected going forward and that neither perpetrators nor enablers will be unjustly enriched."
Weinstein is reportedly in treatment for sex addiction and is separately under investigation by British and American police, although he has not been charged with any crime.