GTA ‘Hot Coffee’ lawsuit means big bucks for lawyers, small change for regular folks

Posted by Humphrey Cheung

New York (NY) – The lawsuit over the inclusion of sex scenes in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is turning out to be a big payday for lawyers, but buyers of the game will get very little.  You may remember the minor scandal a few years back where players of the game could unlock some steamy scenes with third-party software.  Some people were so offended that they filed a class action lawsuit against Rockstar Games and its parent Take-Two Interactive.  But now it’s apparent that the real winners in this case aren’t the offended gamers (of which there are actually very few).

Rockstar/Take-Two Interactive agreed to settle the case by donating $860,000 to a video games ratings board and rebating $5 to $35 to any gamer who claimed to be offended by the content.  So far, only 2676 people have signed up and those people get a grand total of approximately $30,000.

If you think there’s something fishy about lawyers so much from a small settlement (if you don’t include the charitable donation), then you’re not alone.  GTA player and attorney Theodore H. Frank of the American Enterprise Institute argues that the class action attorneys brought a meritless lawsuit that “had no business being brought to court at all.”

The attorneys in the class action lawsuit say they are surprised at the low numbers of claimants, but assert that “the merits of their case were clear,” in an interview with the New York Times.  We think the low numbers mean most people just don’t give a damn about any nudity in a game where the main goals are to steal cars, kill police officers and stomp pedestrians to death.

This suit could still go to trial because the judge has to approve the settlement.  Of course look for even larger legal bills and the airing of copious amounts of dirty laundry if it does go to trial.

Read more … New York Times