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‘Fearless Girl’ Lawsuit by State Street Settles on Eve of Trial



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State Street Corp. and the artist it commissioned to create Wall Street’s sculpture have settled a 2019 lawsuit on the eve of trial.


The bank, which commissioned the artwork, was set to square off against the sculptor, Kristen Visbal, in a trial starting Monday in lower Manhattan over replicas she sold that it claimed violated rights agreements between them. The two sides offered no details of the settlement in a court filing over the weekend.

In its suit, filed two years after the bronze suddenly appeared in 2017 across from the financial district’s landmark Charging Bull, State Street alleged breach of contract and trademark infringement against Visbal, who denied the allegations and filed claims of her own. The suit thrust the piece back into the spotlight after the bank installed it just before International Women’s Day in March 2017.


Read More: People Are Getting Angry About ‘Fearless Girl’ Again — No Bull

The work was part of a McCann ad campaign urging corporate boards to add more women as State Street was promoting its exchange-traded fund SHE, featuring US companies with gender-diverse senior management. It was supposed to be in place for just 30 days. But images of the dauntless girl went viral, generating worldwide news media coverage and drawing thousands of people to its location on lower Broadway. State Street and Visbal then negotiated the rights agreements that became the subject of their dispute.


Fearless Girl was at the center of a more famous fight. It was moved to a site across from the New York Stock Exchange in 2018 after opposition from the creator of Charging Bull, Arturo Di Modica. He complained that the work and its location had distorted the meaning of his piece, which has stood by Bowling Green since 1989.

Since Fearless Girl was installed, women continue to reach new heights in corporate America but are still almost a decade away from parity, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. While they occupied a record 33.5% of S&P 500 companies’ board seats at the end of last year, the ratio was 50-50 or more at just 29 companies, the data show.


Just seven months after the statue’s installation, State Street itself agreed to pay $5 million to resolve US allegations that it discriminated against hundreds of female executives by paying them less than their male colleagues.

The Fearless Girl case is State Street Global Advisors Trust Co. v. Visbal, 19-cv-1719, US District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).


Copyright 2024 Bloomberg.



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