Civil suit in Alabama goes forward

Judge refuses to dismiss case made by families of murder victims against companies who made, distributed, or sold Grand Theft Auto.

The gaming industry faced a setback this week, as a federal judge rejected a motion to dismiss a civil lawsuit brought against Take-Two Interactive and a number of other industry players associated with Grand Theft Auto.

Although the argument that playing Grand Theft Auto III and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City made then-18-year-old Devin Moore kill two police officers and a police dispatcher didn't hold weight in the youth's criminal trial, the victims' families are hoping that the companies they've sued are found responsible in a civil trial.

When Fayette County Circuit Judge James Moore booted Florida attorney Jack Thompson from the case, he did so with an 18-page ruling taking him to task for unprofessional conduct and revoking his temporary license to practice law in the state. His decision not to dismiss the case entirely, now posted at Game Politics, was much more concise.

In a single page, the judge explained his reasons for not dismissing the case. With no evidence presented, a "novel and untested" theory of liability, the possibility that the plaintiffs could prove anything that would entitle to relief, and the state's assumption that alleged facts are true when considering a motion to dismiss, the judge denied the motion.

Judge Moore has not yet set a trial date.

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Discussion

59 comments
kingrich06
kingrich06

Seems like some people want to blame others for thier own faults and mistakes.

behemothpalm
behemothpalm

as long as there ar violence in video games dont believethat it will go away. even still, have any of you watched the news, whats going on overseas is worse then what is in video games. i used to play carmageddon when i was much younger and i dont ever feel like going out and hitting people with a car or anything like that. i have up to gta san andreas and ive never wanted to go on a killing spree because it would be pointless. the government only wants to find a way to make money so they might let these things happen. still gta is a way for me the releive stress for a little while

MronoC
MronoC

The worst part is that by making this claim they they justify the actions of the killer, the one that killed members of their families.

gp556by45
gp556by45

Im sorry, but this has gone TOO far. Dont blame the game, BLAME THE PERSON!!!! GOD WHAT IS SO HARD BOUT THAT?

Jerk69
Jerk69

people are stupid...enough said.........

bobmarlin
bobmarlin

you know what rockstar games should do? they should make a statement before the game starts that says " do not portray these actions in real life "

smur1701
smur1701

I am so sick of parents and their kids not taking responsibilty and always trying to put the blame elswehere cause their kid is such an angel and would never do anything under his own direction. They do nothing but waste oxygen for the rest of us.

chrisdojo
chrisdojo

if GTA and gta style games are pulled from the shelves eventually, that's fine with me.

Hardcoreforever
Hardcoreforever

I played violent videogames all though my early teens and now into my twenties. I never thought of or tried to kill anyone because of it. Some people in this world are retards and will always need someone elses toes to step on when they are falling.

I_prefer_Ian
I_prefer_Ian

Although I am with this being a bogus issue in the first place, I can understand it. The parents in this case, probably never saw their child as a person who would commit murder and found that the only link with them ever doing anything violent was in videogames and just made a dumb connection. It really is kind of sad because I think it just proves for the rest of the people looking at this logically, that these parents never really did pay attention to their child, otherwise they might have been able to done something for them and the police officers involved.

NeoJedi
NeoJedi

Once again, the law doesn't blame the stupid parents of Devin Moore who committed this crime and take the easy road by blaming the video game industry. Oh well, guess it will never change.

Anarky
Anarky

If the jury are reasonable fair-minded people than there is no way that the plantiffs will win the suit. Unfortunately there is a chance that a group of ignorant fools end up on the jury, the type of people who buy into all the media's video-game bashing and support those like Hilary Clinton (I don't mean that as a tossed in bash on Hilary though I do hate the woman, it is in reference to her recent sponsoring of yet another anti-video-game law). Any intelligent judge would have dismissed the case. This is yet the newest case of pandering to the "moral majority" types, it was rock music and comic books in the 50 and 60's heavy metal in the 70's and early 80's then rap in the 90's. Now games are their favorite target. If store owners and employees should be fines and possibly put in jail for selling certain games to minors why don't these "do-good-ers" think that people should be arrested if they sell an R-rated DVD or ticket to an R-rated movie to a minor? It's selective prosecution by those that know nothing about games to begin with.

Dahok
Dahok

i myself got no love for GTA i lied vice city cause i love the 80's. moving on despite that fact i feel them trying to sling off games as porn is very presumptious. When u compare trends, they used to blame movies, kids were "too easily" seeing movies that could influence them too do violent things, or behavior so they were given ratings. Then musik is blamed for kids social disorders, and actions so they gave them explicit content warnings. Then it was TV u can see too much on tv through the likes of cable, and that is damaging th ekids too. Recently video games where it is now. As you can see every step is a step closer into our personal space, and world. What better way to issue you control then through a righteous cause we must protect the children. Im 21 im a adult so dont tell me video games are wrong. To me when that happens it sounds liek your trying to be the parent that should be saying no to the kid anyway.

lageasy311
lageasy311

It really is a shame when it is just ONE person who is succeptable to this kind of violence has to go out and do a crazy thing like this ruining it for millions. The problem in my opinion is, I don't care HOW much GTA I play I can't ever ever EVER kill somebody. I just don't have it in me. I can't even hit somebody, i just don't want to hurt anybody, BUT i own extremely violent video games and never even wanted a gun. If you a natural born killer, do you think this guy is going to want to play Barney's fun house? NO he's going to buy the same violent video games everybody else does. To say that GTA suddenly did this to his mind would be insane, he had it in him in the first place, the parents (as is ALWAYS the case :( ) need to find a scapegoat as to why their child did this. Instead of taking the blame to lack of parenting, or their son is just insane (because killing cops is the last thing on everybody's mind) they have to find a reason. It's the same reason why when kids to bad in class they think "Oh my son needs ritalin he has ADD" they find a reason to blame everything these days, when it's just plain old parenting they need to be doing. Don't worry fellas, this is un-constitutional, they can't censor it to 18 year olds and up. This hot coffee mod thing is bull $hit, what's the differ between watching pixelated t.it$ on a game, when we can still see REAL ones on skinemax? Or violence in ANY movie, or the news for that matter.......ahhhhhhh I'm done ranting but who's with me??

cb-spike
cb-spike

Well at least Thompson is again exposed as the fraud he is... It's lawyers like him that make the legal system such a joke.

SavoyPrime
SavoyPrime

This is too stupid. What's next, people suing alcohol and car companies for drunk drivers crashing and killing people?!

badwins
badwins

There are many killers that go out and buy how to kill books, f.b.i procedure books and fire amrs manuals etc. Are they all liable too! why just games! IF i go out and buy a fbi manual then kill cops why not sue the book publishers. If I watch a movie and kill why not sue hollywood. Games are unfairly targeted!

Thrallia
Thrallia

the judge did the right thing in not dismissing the case...for everyone who wants violence in video games to not automatically be connected to violence in real life, stop calling the judge an idiot...first, he had no choice, he was only doing his job. second, I highly doubt that take 2 will lose in this trial. third, the best way for take 2 to get out of this without having to pay(now or in some future trial) is to fund a study and present it to the court...then it will prove it one way or another. and to whoever said that civil cases are stupid because of the jury....there is no jury, all you have to convince is the judge.

dominae
dominae

Unfortunately, this case has a chance. In a criminal court, the burden of proof lies in proving the prosecution's side "without a shadow of a doubt", or being %100 positive. However, in a civil trial, the burden of proof is lowered somewhat, basing the judgement on the preponderance of the evidence, meaning "more likely than not". This is why O.J. is innocent, but no longer owns his Heisman. This all around sucks.

YukoAsho
YukoAsho

I agree with Aggie. That this suit is going on could very well be the best thing to happen for the gaming industry. The facts will overwhelm everyone, and the industry will have precedent which will enable future lawsuits to be dismissed more easily.

Aggie1295
Aggie1295

It sounds like this is hardly a real defeat for the defendants in the case, or a victory for Jack Thompson's side. I read the judge's actual ruling, and he said it was basically too early to dismiss the case, and that at this stage he had to assume the facts alleged by the plaintiff were true (which is a common standard in most civil lawsuits when the defendant's wants to get the case tossed prior to trial). I'm willing to bet that this case will get tossed when some actual discovery is conducted.

Aggie1295
Aggie1295

Just an FYI to the writer of this story, a federal judge is not a County Circuit Judge (which I'm assuming is a state court judge in Alabama). Those are two different court systems.

Father_Time89
Father_Time89

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

DrKill09
DrKill09

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

VFG
VFG

Oh, and another point. The games were rated 'M' for mature. Aparently the retard that killed two police officers wasn't.

VFG
VFG

Okay, I've spent four years in law enforcement and I've never heard of a video game killing anyone. If I ever died and the line of duty and my family tried to sue the video game industry for it I swear I would haunt them myself.

blackcrimson004
blackcrimson004

what a dumb ass judge you cant blame any company for a gameplayers weak mind i play gta all the time but i dont go around killin cops

f2hawk
f2hawk

I am going to sue the judge now for emotionally effecting my life and making me feel like a criminal for supporting these companies by buying the games they produced. This judge is a dumb ass. I can't wait to see his face when he gets served with my law suit against his old saggy ass.

umbrae
umbrae

It they win I am going out and hold a starbucks hostage, so I can sue them for putting too much caffine in their latte's.

Father_Time89
Father_Time89

A note to rockstar put a warning on your games Warning do not try this at home at school or anywhere in real life. Take Two Rockstar and Sony/Microsoft will not be responsible for any bad things that happen as a result of any person copying what is done in the game. Just put that in the actual game and I guartanee you rockstar you won't have to waste your time with frivorlous lawsuits. Oh yeah you might want to replace "bad things" with a better sounding term.

Father_Time89
Father_Time89

Here is an example of why video games are not like real life. In real life there are tons of events where you get no second chance and no oppurtunity to undo them. Like if you screw up an audition for a play you usually don't get a second chance, if you do something wrong and accidently kill somone you can't undo that. In a video game you get tons of chances and can always undo things. Did you just die? Well then you respawn on the level and try again. Did you just blow all your money on a crappy weapon load the game before you bought the weapon and buy something else. No matter how good the graphics get you can always use that to extinguish video games from real life.

Father_Time89
Father_Time89

best thing is that the article was from Pbs a company that no one (except the ranting lunatics) accuses of leaning towards any side.

Father_Time89
Father_Time89

Please do not flame me for saying tihs but the judge is not an idiot for doing this. First off he did dismiss Thompson so he's not an idiot. Second if whoever is suing rockstar can actually get proof that the games made the person shoot their families then they have legal grounds to sue them (I think). The industry's next move should be to present a study showing that is no connection between violence in videogames and real life violence or beat the families in the trial.

choasgod
choasgod

OMG u bet ya life take-2 anit happy and GTA isn't the reason the crazy moron went on a rampage .......

LordOfMidnight
LordOfMidnight

What a bunch of crap. One more example of "justice" gone wrong.

dinodude64
dinodude64

FINALLY someone is actually doing real logical reasearch on the effects of video games on violence and is finding out what we have known all along... there is no connection! thx for posting that article atomsoft it was one of the best ones that i have read in a long time i mean i definently think that little kids shouldnt be palying violent games and games with explicit material but this blaming and wasting money on something that wont solve the promblem is rediculous if you want to stop crime spend that money on helping kids with metal promblems/ troubled households/and those who are living on the streets that is going to stop crime a heck of alot better than blaming violent video games but hey its alot harder to help kids with social promblems than it is to blame violent video games so what does our government do? the easy way out that makes them look like there doing something thats what

MiKaNoH
MiKaNoH

if in the opening of GTA appeared this message: ''play this game and after play, kill people like the character in the game'', the case would be acceptable but i'm sure that message wasn't in the game...the game have violent content but it don't stimulates the player to make what happen in the game...

timts
timts

I think those commericial in which people refuse to give stuff to their relatives, friends, those movies full of violence and all the games which are violent play a role in the increasing violence of this society. It makes people less and less as nice as before. But I dont think GTA series alone should take the responsibility.

MiKaNoH
MiKaNoH

i will explain explain with a situation example, a man lives in a condominium and he purchase a knife, certain people is knowing and one day a person dies in the condominium and just because of this the majority that knew he bought a knife, says that he was the killer...

gameruler8721
gameruler8721

I am so sick of people putting the blame on games. This isn't a parenting problem, Oh !@#$% no. People you can't blame violenc in siber space on violence in life.

atomsoft
atomsoft

http://www.pbs.org/kcts/videogamerevolution/impact/myths.html Check out this website and read the article it was on attack of the show and if you check out there website they even have mailing addresses for all the videogame activists. It is a good article and if that jury were to read it I think they would really see that the family is just looking for some money.

RacerSVT
RacerSVT

So, it these families win and stop Take-Two from making anymore GTA games, then there will be no more police murders???????......

Kenji_the_Wolf
Kenji_the_Wolf

Essentially it's all polictians who need a hot button topic to boost their TV appearance time, that's it. Feigned concern knows no political affiliation.

cusoker
cusoker

there is no way that this is going to end well for the families. They just look like money hungry people now. Its like saying, "My dog made me do it." There is no basis for the arguments. I can understand the judges position, and have no qualms with it. It all just seems a bit rediculous tho. If i could, id post a link on here by an MIT Prof. that refutes every argument thats being thrown at the game industry regarding violent video games. Oh and on one last note, it aint the "Hyper-conservatives" leading the movement against video games, its the liberals, you know Hilary, Joe, et al. Not trying to make this political, just pointing out the facts.

lordcrim
lordcrim

Civil suits are retarded, because all you need to do is convince the mojority of the jury (51%) that they should side with you. In mock trials, I have never lost a "civil" suit. Because it is not based so much on fact, but on what you can get the jury to think. So, concider this a victory for the plaintiff already. They might not get the full amount or might not get it for everyone they are suing, but they will win. But what really annoys me is how they are blaiming these companies for providing the game to the stupid kid. I can see how they can accuse Take-Two, Rockstar, and anyone else in the Development and Publishing part of this game. But when it comes to the retailers, I dont see how they can sue Walmart and Gamestop at the same time. They couldnt both be responsible for providing this kid with the game. Also, because it is not a law to who the companies can sell to, I dont see how that would hold up in court. But that will all change shortly if we let Mrs. Clinton in the white house.

Donkeljohn
Donkeljohn

The courts exist for individuals to bring grievances which are not being resolved outside of governmental arbitration. The judge's decision to hear the case is a sound one, especially since a clear precedent does not exist. He made a similarly wise decision with a substantial, published reasoning for dismissing Jack Thompson.

tbonetrav18
tbonetrav18

WOW. Last time I played the game, I didn't see anything on the screen that says go out and do this in real life. I don't see people getting charged with posession of marjuana blaming the Music and Movie industry. NO, people become F**ked up on their own and do bad things.

Erebus
Erebus

In a single page? What a lazy bastard. As a college Freshman, I once wrote a paper that briefly defended the merit of Grant Theft Auto and its effects on violence of society, and that took me no less than five pages. I received a strong "a" on the paper as well. This hyper-conservatism fad some bored American politicians are adopting is bleeding into my favorite entertainment medium. It truly disgusts me. Meanwhile, a so-called impartial judge makes such an inept decision that he may as well be President.

Kenji_the_Wolf
Kenji_the_Wolf

Honestly...Were I in the position to make the change, I'd state that since claims that GTA "trained" Moore didn't hold up in criminal court, that they'd be just as inconsequential in civil court. My take on civil court: "Didn't quite make the cut criminal trial? Are your arguments emotionally charged and not based on any sort of common sense or fact? Well, have we got the solution for you!" And the last thing I'll never, ever understand is how getting millions of dollars from suing someone is somehow going to make everything better in any way, shape or form. They're wasting the system's money, and therefore, ours. Our tax dollars...OURS, are funding trials such as this. Hate to sound cold hearted for this, but they're dead, and a civil suit isn't really going to do anything. How about instead of being jackasses you actually mourn the dead and pay homage to them in a way that doesn't screw the rest of us over? And I will never be convinced that a frivolous lawsuit such as this is for anyone's benefit but the person who is getting their "pay day". Don't like what I have to say? Well, you can try to sue, but you'd have to find me first and then prove that my unsolicited rant somehow made your suffering worth money. Good luck.