Gaming Steve

January 25, 2008

Grand Theft Auto Lawsuit Settlement: You Get $35, Lawyers Get "One Million Dollars"

One Million Dollars!

It's not often that People Magazine and video games have a lot in common, but in the February 4th issue (the one with Heath Ledger on the cover ... tragic) if you flip to page 50 there an interesting Legal Notice concerning one Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.

Just in case you forgot in 2007 Rockstar Games proposed a settlement for a class action lawsuit concerning the infamous Hot Coffee modification. As a result any US citizen who was officially "offended and upset" by the ability to unlock this hidden content can now claim up to $35 in compensation.

The exact amount you may be entitled depends upon directly upon how much documentation you have of your "outrage":

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas First Edition Disc: Replacement Disc
Detailed Store Receipt: Cash payment up to $35.00
General Credit Card Statement or Check: Cash payment up to $17.50
Disc/Purchase Details: Cash payment up to $10.00
No Disc/Purchase Details: Cash payment up to $5.00

Full details on the program can be found at and you must submit your claim by May 16, 2008 to be eligible for compensation.

Curious about this lawsuit I actually went through the trouble to download the many long and detailed legal documents when I came across this little gem on page 11 of the Motion for Preliminary Approval document concerning the attorneys' fees:

E. Attorneys’ Fees, Costs and Disbursements. Finally, as mentioned above, only this past Friday, the Parties agreed on an amount to compensate Plaintiffs’ Counsel for attorneys’ fees and costs and disbursements in the amount of One Million Dollars ($1,000,000), the entire amount of which will be paid separate and apart from any amounts made available for payment to the Class and Class Representatives, as set forth above. This agreed upon amount includes approximately Forty-Five Thousands Dollars ($45,000) for costs and disbursements and approximately Nine Hundred Fifty Five Thousand Dollars ($955,000) for attorneys’ fees, a highly reasonable request and well within the range previously approved by this and other courts. A full and formal application for attorneys’ fees and costs and disbursements will be made prior to the proposed final fairness hearing for approval of this Settlement.

So to sum up, you can get a brand-new Hot Coffee-free version of GTA: SA and, at most, $35. While the lawyers who are representing you, me, and all the other "little people" damaged by this outrage on humanity are getting a mere "One Million Dollars ($1,000,000)".

Of course I couldn't help but think about the upcoming class action lawsuit against Microsoft concerning a few days of downtime for Xbox Live in late 2007. In that suit three angry Texans are asking for $5 million dollars from Microsoft ... but it's not really about the money.

As the plaintiffs' lawyer, Jason Gibson, explained to MTV News, "These are not guys looking to get rich". "They are college-educated. These are not young kids who just turned 18 and [want] to sue for the fun of it. This is, to them, a real issue." Gibson went on to explain, "They're not going to get a windfall or anything like that."

No, it seems that "windfall" would be reserved for the lawyers...

Posted by Gaming Steve at 11:00 PM | Comments (10) | Posted to Business | PlayStation 2 | Xbox |  Add this story to  Stumble It!  Submit this story to Digg!

Gee, can't imagine why lawyers have such poor public image. Really...

Posted by Moose at January 26, 2008 12:49 AM


Posted by GamerCenterOnline Admin at January 26, 2008 2:36 AM

My favorite part is when they mention, "a highly reasonable request and well within the range previously approved by this and other courts."

Yeah, because two million dollars would have been TOTALLY outrageous. But one million, that's TOTALLY fair.

Posted by Gaming Steve at January 26, 2008 8:41 AM

This proves the faults in the american legal system, lawsuits for everything when the lawyers need some money.

Where`s the world going too?
Good thing I`m a swede, here lawsuits are a corporate matter and quite uncommon.

Posted by Andreas at January 26, 2008 9:18 AM

he stole your story verbatim, though he did have the common courtesy to change the picture

Posted by 762 at January 26, 2008 12:25 PM

Its ok, he credited it at the bottom of the story. If anything this will just increase traffic over here from curious article perusers.

As for the story itself I don't see why anyone should be getting any compensation at all! Perhaps we should start demanding refunds because we have to download patches to fix bugged content in games. Or maybe march down to our nearest game store and demand a refund because we saw a nipple in an AO rated game we bought a ten year old kid.

Posted by Krakow Sam at January 27, 2008 9:13 AM

Critical thinking skills are very important in life. $35 is a lot of money against a company that sold millions. On paper it could wipe out all their profits that was made on the game.

Posted by jdun at January 27, 2008 4:59 PM

I want a refund on my bible because someone sold me a pen which could be used to "patch" nude drawings into it...

Therefore, because pens exist, all books should be rated AO.

Posted by DarkAngel at January 28, 2008 6:41 PM

^^^The above post is a perfect example why videos games get bad press.

Posted by jdun at January 28, 2008 11:21 PM

Hey you don't need a pen to make the Bible raunchy...

Leviticus 20: 15, 16

Look it up, ladies...

Posted by Hizzah at January 29, 2008 5:44 PM
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