Did Lawyers Inflate Fees in Hot Coffee Class Action Suit?

May 27, 2008 -

Lawyers who filed a class-action lawsuit against Take-Two Interactive over the 2005 Hot Coffee scandal have put in a claim for $1,000,000 in legal fees.

But, as Overlawyered reports, the total value of a settlement award to 2,676 claimants in the case tallies less than $27,000. Here's how those awards break down:

  • Tier 1 (up to $35.00) (no [GTA San Andreas disc] exchange required): 416
  • Tier 2 (up to $17.50) (exchange required): 22
  • Tier 3 ($10.00) (exchange required): 131
  • Tier 4 ($5.00) (no exchange required): 2,050
  • Disc Exchange w/o cash: 57

Seven lead plaintiffs are seeking an additional total of $24,500.

Apparently, as part of the settlement, Take-Two may wind up donating $870,000 to the ESRB and the National PTA. Overlawyered's Ted Frank criticizes the claim for fees:

Of course, as we’ve discussed, none of these people had a legitimate cause of action or suffered any legally cognizable injury... Recognizing that this 3774% contingent fee looks fishy... the plaintiffs have sought to inflate the appearance of accomplishment through a $870,000 cy pres award to the National PTA and ESRB...

As GamePolitics previously reported, Frank has been critical of the Hot Coffee suit in the past. 

A hearing on the fee issue is scheduled for June 25th.


Comments

Re: Did Lawyers Inflate Fees in Hot Coffee Class Action Suit?

They're lawyers.

 

Therefore, by definition, they're cocksuckers.

Re: Did Lawyers Inflate Fees in Hot Coffee Class Action Suit?

First time visitor after getting a google hit on another topic. So dumb question: what is the hot coffee scandal?

Re: Did Lawyers Inflate Fees in Hot Coffee Class Action Suit?

Basically, Rockstar originally made a minigame for GTA:SA which quite obviously wasn't intended to be in the final release. They disabled the code and made it unaccessible without altering the code. Someone discovered the code and released a mod to activate. The problem was that the minigame was sexual in nature. People freaked, people lied, people got sued, ect.

The entire situation was a waste of time because you have to go out of your way to activate it, which breaks the terms and conditions since it alters the code. Legally, Rockstar should have been in the clear, but that never stops anyone.

Re: Did Lawyers Inflate Fees in Hot Coffee Class Action Suit?

This kind of makes me want to be a lawyer. I mean, this can't be an isolated incident. I'm sure this kind of crap is more common than not, and the pay is epic to begin with...

Then again, I do enjoy having a soul....

-"A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject." -Sir Winston Churchill

Re: Did Lawyers Inflate Fees in Hot Coffee Class Action Suit?

Isn't that what those class action lawyers do?  People are awarded stuff like 5 dollar rebates, and the lawyers take off will millions. 

Re: Did Lawyers Inflate Fees in Hot Coffee Class Action Suit?

Yeah, reminds me of the iomega class action suit, you basically got a discount towards yet another faulty zip/jaz/etc drive to eat your disks & lose your data AGAIN!

Of course, that defect seriously cost lots of people time & money, while this case....  Well, I doubt there was much of a "class action" other then just those lawyers and a few morons stupid enough to get upset over this.

It wouldn't surprise me if most of those claims were from gamers trying to get some easy cash, just look at tiers 1 & 4!  Easy money for something with "no exchange required."

Re: Did Lawyers Inflate Fees in Hot Coffee Class Action Suit?

Quick fix: "tha" to "the"

"Apparently, as part of the settlement, Take-Two may wind up donating $870,000 to the ESRB and tha National PTA."

Re: Did Lawyers Inflate Fees in Hot Coffee Class Action Suit?

Actually, it wouldn't surprise me if the PTA was trying to project a new "urban" image to fit in with the cool kids.  Check it out, y'all, tha PTA is all up in this gymnasiuuuuum!!

---
The Mammon Industry

 

---
Fangamer

Re: Did Lawyers Inflate Fees in Hot Coffee Class Action Suit?

Is the Miami moron involved in this one too?

-kurisu7885

Re: Did Lawyers Inflate Fees in Hot Coffee Class Action Suit?

No this isn't his sort of case. He gets his hard on from cases where people died.

E. Zachary Knight
www.editorialgames.com

 

Re: Did Lawyers Inflate Fees in Hot Coffee Class Action Suit?

the plaintiffs have sought to inflate the appearance of accomplishment through a $870,000 cy pres award to the National PTA and ESRB...

IANAL, but doesn't "cy-pres" mean that the court altered the original settlement? It was for $1,000,000, and they couldn't figure out how to reasonably distribute that to people who had no "real" claims anyway? So instead of giving plaintiffs more than they deserve, they send the remainder after "semi-reasonable" claims are settled to a couple of not-for-profit orgs?

I think the judge should award the legal fees based on ACTUAL damages paid out, and not count the "leftovers"...

I also think that the "donation" should come with a stipulation that it all go towards an ad campaign education parents about paying attention to what their kids are doing. Afterall, just because it's illegal to sell porn to a kid, doesn't mean they won't get ahold of it. Occasionally, it's necessary to talk to your kids...

"Boys, I wanted to wait until you were a bit older before we talked about things like sex, drugs, and human sacrifice for the harvest..."

-- If your wiimote goes snicker-snack, check your wrist-strap...

 

-- If your wiimote goes snicker-snack, check your wrist-strap...

Re: Did Lawyers Inflate Fees in Hot Coffee Class Action Suit?

Lawyers being greedy and looking for a big payday?! That's just unheard of!

 

>_> <_<

Re: Did Lawyers Inflate Fees in Hot Coffee Class Action Suit?

OH MY GOD!!! A lawyer inflating his bill by nearly 4000%! I would've NEVER seen that happening!! *sarcasm*

 

Hunting the shadows of the troubled dreams.

Hunting the shadows of the troubled dreams.

Re: Did Lawyers Inflate Fees in Hot Coffee Class Action Suit?

Short answer to the title: yes, they really did. Don't remember where the old article was but Dennis posted an inside view on exactly what goes down in class action suits. Lawyers always get a lion's share of the profits.


 

Re: Did Lawyers Inflate Fees in Hot Coffee Class Action Suit?

The whole deal with replacing the discs upsets me. You don't need your disc replaced, just don't download the freaking mod. It isn't like you can just go ahead and accidentally stumble into the minigame. You have to go out of your way to unlock it. The whole situation was BS, so why should we expect the lawyers to be straightforward?

Re: Did Lawyers Inflate Fees in Hot Coffee Class Action Suit?

@Christian

But don't you see?! these games are marketed to children to corrupt their still developing minds!!!

/Sarcasm

 

The problem is that the last generation will never understand the adult orientation of games, not until we make up more than 80% of the adult population then we will not be taken seriously by our peers, a crying shame I know, but still it is the case, as a culture we will be scorned until we take over, but you will see that it is beginning to happen all around us, Mayors, Governors, Celebrities, a lot of them are from our stable, so to speak, there are many lessons to be learned from videogames that can be applied in politics and other such walks of life, in that respect I find videogames to be a very important tool in our develpopment as people.

 

@ Article

This is plain overkill, however it is the unfortunate staple of modern lawyering, the release of the hot coffee mod and the subsequent lie by R* did not do them any good, hot coffee should probably not have been made, or if it had,  it should have been part of the game from the get go, it wouldn't affect the American ratings if it was a launch feature I believe, it was the fact that it was added to the game in the months following its release that caused it so much bad press because it was noticed and was heavily publicised.

My general understanding of lawyers is that about 90% of them are lying, cheating scum who will sweet talk you whilst looking you in the face, but under the table he is kicking you in the nadgers. I know of very few lawyers who deserve our respect, anyway, I think the inflation is absurd and this is a problem that should have died out with R*s apology.

Re: Did Lawyers Inflate Fees in Hot Coffee Class Action Suit?

I concur with Anon. What 17-year old is going to harmed by seeing that?

Re: Did Lawyers Inflate Fees in Hot Coffee Class Action Suit?

Now really did we expect anything better from these lawyers?

Re: Did Lawyers Inflate Fees in Hot Coffee Class Action Suit?

Whats the problem with this hot cofee thingy? The game is for people of 17 and up and i doubt a 17 year old will be traumatised by pixels that look like sex.

Re: Did Lawyers Inflate Fees in Hot Coffee Class Action Suit?

Did you miss the part where the content wasn't even in the actual game, but was actually a mod? How are we supposed to even pretend that the system isn't corrupt?

 
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E. Zachary KnightGot that same recommendation on Twitter. So I guess that is a good sign.09/15/2014 - 8:39pm
prh99Portlandia, though I don't watch a lot of sitcoms. Heard it was good though.09/15/2014 - 8:02pm
E. Zachary KnightSitcom recommendations for someone who like Parks and Rec but hates The Office: Go.09/15/2014 - 6:08pm
NeenekoEven if they do change their policy, they can only do it moving forward and I could see the mod/pack community simply branching.09/15/2014 - 12:50pm
Michael ChandraAs for take the money and run, the guy must have a networth of 8~9 digits already.09/15/2014 - 10:33am
Michael ChandraMe, I'm more betting on some form of mod API where servers must run donations/payments through them and they take a cut.09/15/2014 - 10:32am
Michael ChandraEspecially since they want it for promoting their phones. Killing user interest is the dumbest move to make.09/15/2014 - 10:32am
Michael ChandraGiven how the EULA actively allows for LPs, I'm not sure Microsoft is ready for the backlash of disallowing that.09/15/2014 - 10:31am
Matthew Wilsonthey wont do that, the backlash would be too big.09/15/2014 - 10:25am
ConsterSleaker: how is that a flipside? Sounds to me like that's basically what Notch himself said, except rudely.09/15/2014 - 10:18am
MaskedPixelanteOn the plus side, no more lazy Minecraft LPs, since iirc Microsoft has a strict "no monetization period" policy when it comes to their stuff.09/15/2014 - 10:13am
james_fudgeBut it continues to sell on every platform it is on, so there's that09/15/2014 - 10:09am
james_fudgeOh, well that's another matter :)09/15/2014 - 10:08am
E. Zachary KnightNothing against Notch here. I think it is great that he made something so cool. I just can't understand how it is worth $2.5 bil09/15/2014 - 9:59am
InfophileWhat a world we live in: Becoming a billionaire was the easy way out for Notch.09/15/2014 - 9:42am
james_fudgelots of hate for Notch here. I don't get it. Sorry he made a game everyone loved. What a monster he is!09/15/2014 - 9:37am
SleakerOn the flipside, Notch has been a horrible CEO for Mojang, and the company has grown on sheer inertia, DESPITE being mishandled over and over.09/15/2014 - 9:33am
SleakerI can understand Notch's statements he made to Kotaku about growing bigger than he intended, and getting hate for EULA changes he didn't enact.09/15/2014 - 9:32am
MaskedPixelantehttp://pastebin.com/n1qTeikM Notch's statement about the MS acquisition. He wanted out for a long time and this was the easiest way.09/15/2014 - 9:08am
ConsterEh, I can't blame him.09/15/2014 - 9:01am
 

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