Newest Pokemon GO Lawsuit Seeks Payouts for Annoyed Property Owners

Newest Pokemon GO Lawsuit Seeks Payouts for Annoyed Property Owners

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Another lawsuit has been filed against Niantic, and this one is seeking payouts for property owners annoyed by Pokemon GO players.

Recently a French mayor demanded that Niantic remove the Pokemon from his town. Today, there's another strange story. A Detroit couple has filed a class action lawsuit in federal court against Niantic, Nintendo, and The Pokemon Company. The couple, Scott and Jayme Dodich, say they have spent weeks being besieged by Pokemon GO players.

This is due to the location of the couple's house, which is across the street from Detroit's Wahby Park. The park is a Poke Gym, and includes at least seven Pokestops as well. According to the Detroit Free Press, the lawsuit says that,

"Nobody gets sleep anymore. How is this acceptable? ... They hang out on our lawns, trample landscaping, look in vehicles ... We don't feel safe ... I don't feel safe sitting on our porch."

As resolution, the suit wants to stop Niantic from placing Pokemon on or near private property unless the company receives the owner's permission to do so. Additionally, it seeks to designate a share of the game's profits to be shared among the residents whose property (according to the suit) contributed to the game's financial success to this point.

There have been other complaints surrounding the game, but as far as I can find, this is the first class action suit filed against the developer. It remains to be seen how a federal court will resolve an issue that involves virtual creatures that have been placed in the real world, but with Pokemon GO having been downloaded over 75 million times (as of July 26), you can bet that this won't be the last, especially if the suit is successful.

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On one hand, I get it. Having strangers running through your yard, looking into your car, and basically lurking on your property is annoying, and if it happens constantly, I bet it starts to feel a bit threatening.

On the other hand, if the Pokemon are only showing up in the park, well...it's a public park. The public is allowed to be there. Granted, if the park has park hours, then yeah, you should probably have the police enforcing those hours, but otherwise...not much you can do about it.

This is certainly going to be an interesting court case, if it turns into one anyway.

Yeaaaah, this sounds more like someone heard about the various complaints and thought ''hey, maybe we can get some money out of this.''

A gym and seven stops? I'm lucky to have one near me.

Sounds like they just want free money.

Sniper Team 4:
On one hand, I get it. Having strangers running through your yard, looking into your car, and basically lurking on your property is annoying, and if it happens constantly, I bet it starts to feel a bit threatening.

On the other hand, if the Pokemon are only showing up in the park, well...it's a public park. The public is allowed to be there. Granted, if the park has park hours, then yeah, you should probably have the police enforcing those hours, but otherwise...not much you can do about it.

This is certainly going to be an interesting court case, if it turns into one anyway.

They wouldn't be on the lawns anyway, Pokemon spawn in an area around you, you wouldn't even need be close to the houses to get them, just in the vicinity.

Seriously i don't think the general public grasp this concept :') Sure, if they are in the lawns, then call the police, but Pokeon can't be blamed for that, that's just kids messing about.

Sniper Team 4:
On one hand, I get it. Having strangers running through your yard, looking into your car, and basically lurking on your property is annoying, and if it happens constantly, I bet it starts to feel a bit threatening.

On the other hand, if the Pokemon are only showing up in the park, well...it's a public park. The public is allowed to be there. Granted, if the park has park hours, then yeah, you should probably have the police enforcing those hours, but otherwise...not much you can do about it.

This is certainly going to be an interesting court case, if it turns into one anyway.

Why would anyone look inside cars? I really don't get what they are talking about. Also no reason to be walking on peoples lawn, they removed the (glitched) step counter for nearby pokemon, people have no reason to assume there would be one anywhere near their lawn.

I just don't get it. Is there some kind of secret about pokemon spawning in cars or lawns i don't know about?

The view of the exterior of your house is public record.
Litigants would have to prove Niantic encourages trespassing (hard with their "do not trespass" popups.
Niantic has already shown to give relief upon request when warranted.
Lawsuit is essentially about making people not able to use public spaces in a non-harmful way because they don't like it.

If this makes it TO discovery I'll be surprised. If it makes it out of discovery I'll reverse my opinions on tort reform.

Yeeeeeeah, nah. I got little idea how the courts in America operate but I really want Niantic to countersue some of the chancers so that it can boil down to ACTUAL complaints rather than sabre-rattling to try and make yourself sound big (see: French Mayor who woefully misunderstands the refugee crisis)

So why not sue the people who are doing the actual trespassing?

Oh, right, they don't have super-deep pockets to drain for easy profit.

So people can file lawsuits against companies for indirectly encouraging people to visit public areas that just happen to be next to private property.

Riiiight.

MCerberus:

Lawsuit is essentially about making people not able to use public spaces in a non-harmful way because they don't like it.

No, the lawsuits about wanting free and easy money.

The majority of PokemonGos content was imported from the companies other game, Ingress. Many stops were submitted by people that live there without second thought. Of course, make a big hit and now it's a problem. I understand a fair argument for removing a stop/gym but I don't think lawsuits are 100% legit for reasoning.

These people realize that Niantic aren't sitting in their office clicking Pokemon into existence in their yards, right? That the process is not only automated, but randomized (and weighted in such a way that large, public spaces, such as public parks, have higher-density spawns)?

That's like suing Texas Instruments because the random integer function spat out their house number more than once.

Mark my words, we will soon bear witness to "The Great 'Get Off My Lawn!' Class-Action Suit of 2016".

It is coming.

Unless the game works differently for everyone else, I don't see why people would need to go on their lawn to catch Pokemon. And really I don't think Niantic should be held responsible for the behavior of the people playing their game. As for the park, well it's a public park, you can't stop people from using it. All I see here is yet another frivolous lawsuit to add the the incredibly long list.

This is probably the first time I've actually heard about someone seriously complaining that "these dangum kids gotta get off me lawn". They should probably just mow that lawn or something, I hear pokemon usually appear in tall grass.

The pokemon stops and gym is in the public park and thus noone has any reason to be on your lawn or look into your car (wtf is this). Also this would not stop you from sleeping in any way. Maybe if you dont feel safe living next to a PUBLIC PARK, you should get a great invention called a fence.

RaikuFA:

MCerberus:

Lawsuit is essentially about making people not able to use public spaces in a non-harmful way because they don't like it.

No, the lawsuits about wanting free and easy money.

Yes, but they can't admit to this in their filings

I see you folks all claiming "cash grab" and I get that. I looked up Wahby Park in Detroit. It is a very long park with a walking track. It is surrounded by water on two sides (South and East by Lake St. Claire). Parking is only on the western short side (maybe the long South side as well). Along the long north side is Revere St, where our plaintiff likely lives. The park closes at 9pm and that curfew may very well be enforced by the local police. MAP

So that means anybody who wants to conquer that gym at night (which is a favorite), would drive down Revere Street, park in front of somebody's house, and battle that gym at who knows what hour. There's actually a sort of secondary street/common driveway in front of the houses. And I'm betting people pull in there to get off Revere St, because it appears to be very narrow. That driveway thing is likely part of their property as it does not extend like a normal s

So, yeah. Pokemon Go is actually causing high pedestrian and automobile traffic on what may be their property at all hours of the night. Is it noisy of disruptive? Probably. I wouldn't want people hanging out in front of my house at all hours of the night. Not because Pokemon Go players are a bad element. Just because I would prefer quiet, and so do my dogs.

So, their complaint is likely a reasonable one. Their "pay me money" solution may really just be a "this is the only way Niantic will listen to me". As written here, it sounds like a cash grab.

Ugicywapih:
They should probably just mow that lawn or something, I hear pokemon usually appear in tall grass.

Truth. In the games, you can, in-fact, stop encountering Pokemon by using (HM)Cut on tall grass.

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Clankenbeard:

So, their complaint is likely a reasonable one. Their "pay me money" solution may really just be a "this is the only way Niantic will listen to me". As written here, it sounds like a cash grab.

The problem here is that Niantic already has avenues for removing Pokestops and gyms from, well, any area. I believe it's as easy as filling out a forum. Several communities with graveyards have already made use of the feature without feeling the need to sue.

ffronw:

This is due to the location of the couple's house, which is across the street from Detroit's Wahby Park.

Nothing to see here really. Zero chance of them winning a suit.

FalloutJack:
Mark my words, we will soon bear witness to "The Great 'Get Off My Lawn!' Class-Action Suit of 2016".

It is coming.

If it was handled the Walt way, I imagine the trespasser complaints would go down really fucking quick.

LegendaryGamer0:
If it was handled the Walt way, I imagine the trespasser complaints would go down really fucking quick.

Already certain of that happening in some states, like...any state where they shoot trespassers in general.

As has been said, I'm not sure how it's Niantic's fault that people are trespassing onto their property when the stops are on the park. Though as Clankenbeard pointed out, this might be a brute-force way of getting Niantic to actually listen to them (I mean, this is a company that deals with a buggy feature by going "fuck it" and just ripping it out).

The Rogue Wolf:
So why not sue the people who are doing the actual trespassing?

Oh, right, they don't have super-deep pockets to drain for easy profit.

Sad truth of lawsuits: wealth is more important than liability when choosing who to sue.

 

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