Zaha Hadid donates law suit settlement money to charity

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Zaha Hadid settles book review lawsuit and donates money to labour rights charity

News: Zaha Hadid has settled her case against the New York Review of Books and critic Martin Filler, and has donated the settlement money to an undisclosed charity that "protects and champions labour rights".

After a five-month legal battle, London-based architect Zaha Hadid has withdrawn a lawsuit regarding defamatory comments made about her attitude to migrant workers and her Qatar World Cup stadium project (pictured).

"Following extensive settlement negotiations, Ms Zaha Hadid withdrew her lawsuit against the New York Review of Books and Mr Martin Filler," said a statement issued by Hadid's attorney BakerHostetler.

"Under the terms of the settlement agreement, which remain confidential, Ms Hadid has accepted the apology of the New York Review of Books and Mr Filler, and is pleased to announce, in conjunction with the settlement, the donation of an undisclosed sum of money to a charitable organisation that protects and champions labour rights."

Zaha Hadid

Hadid filed the lawsuit against Filler and the New York Review of Books with the New York State Supreme Court in August, following the publication of a review of Rowan Moore's Why We Build: Power and Desire in Architecture.

The architect's legal claim said Filler had singled out Hadid for criticism in the article and had accused her of "not taking responsibility and showing no concern" for alleged worker deaths at her Al Wakrah Stadium – which had not started on site when the comments were made.

Her attorneys said that Filler and the magazine had published "a personal attack disguised as a book review" that had exposed the architect to "public ridicule and contempt". It also said Filler had taken comments made by Hadid about the deaths of migrant workers in Qatar out of context.

"Ms Hadid is pleased to have put to rest this dispute, and to have resolved it in a way that demonstrates her commitment to safe and fair working conditions at construction sites around the world," said Gonzalo Zeballos, one of the attorneys representing the architect.

The law firm also stated that working conditions at the Al-Wakrah site "operate at the highest levels of worker health and safety", and that no "lost-time injuries" have been reported since construction began over a year ago.

Filler publicly apologised shortly after the case was filed, describing his comments as an "error".

He had been referencing statements made by Hadid in February 2014 at a press conference for the re-opening of her Olympic swimming pool.

An investigation by The Guardian had found that over 500 Indian migrants and 382 Nepalese nationals had died in the country since it won the right to host the FIFA World Cup 2022 football tournament, but the architect had said that was the responsibility of the Qatari government – not architects – to address issues relating to worker deaths.

"It's not my duty as an architect to look at it," Hadid said. "I cannot do anything about it because I have no power to do anything about it. I think it's a problem anywhere in the world. But, as I said, I think there are discrepancies all over the world."