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Basically, Rockstar originally made a minigame for GTA:SA which quite obviously wasn't intended to be in the final release.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?

 
Forgot your password?
Username :
Password :

Poll

Will an M rating hurt Batman: Arkham Knight's sales?:

Shout box

You're not permitted to post shouts.
MechaTama31That's a pretty difficult anatomy to break.02/26/2015 - 11:09pm
MechaTama31"the way her animations repeatedly break her anatomy" <-- I'm sorry, but we are talking here about the woman who can roll up into a little ball and live to tell the tale, yes? ;)02/26/2015 - 11:09pm
Andrew EisenAs far as examples that could be culled from female game characters though, that one's pretty mild.02/26/2015 - 9:11pm
Andrew EisenNot as much the heels or the suit in and of themselves but certainly the way her animations repeatedly break her anatomy to show off her lady bits.02/26/2015 - 9:10pm
E. Zachary KnightWell, Samus's heels are certainly impracticable, but I wouldn't really call her Zero suit objectified. I don't really feel that the new Lara Croft is objectified either, but that is my subjective opinion.02/26/2015 - 9:08pm
Andrew EisenTomb Raider: No but we haven't seen much of anything yet. Samus: Yes.02/26/2015 - 9:07pm
ZippyDSMleeWould you call the new tomb raider objectified? WOuld Samus Aran from the new Smash bros be objectified?02/26/2015 - 9:02pm
WonderkarpI'm hoping they put the rest of the comic book ghostbusters in there. Ortiz and Rookie(From GB the game)02/26/2015 - 8:38pm
Wonderkarpghostbusters board game is doing great. getting close too a 3rd extra playable Character. Ron Alexander.02/26/2015 - 8:37pm
Andrew EisenSmurfette is not subjective. If there's more than one female character, it's not Smurfette. Anyway, as with everything on the list, Smurfette is, in and of itself, not necessarily a bad thing.02/26/2015 - 8:32pm
Andrew EisenI think there's 5 women (out of 15, I think) but other than one being a bit more "hippy" than the others, they pretty much all have the same body type. Especially when compaired to the huge variety of male body types.02/26/2015 - 8:31pm
Wonderkarpso I dont see Smurfette as a bad thing. Unless like all your female characters are Smurfette. remember the Smurfs also had Sassette02/26/2015 - 8:29pm
E. Zachary KnightOne good example of the larger issues is one Anita used in the presentation, Blizzard's Overwatch game. There are a dozen men in the game with a dozen body types. But there are only 4 women with 2 body types, but 3 of them have the same one.02/26/2015 - 8:28pm
Wonderkarpthe smurfette thing is subjective to how many female characters you have. Take Sonic for example. You have Amy, who is obvious smurfette, but there's several other female characters now without that. Including the original animated seriescomics with Sally02/26/2015 - 8:28pm
E. Zachary KnightAE. Very true. I think that is where I was going, but it didn't come out right. Jack Harkness is sexy but not objectified. Whereas, a women would have to be objectified in order to be "sexy" in most games.02/26/2015 - 8:26pm
E. Zachary KnightAnd as Andrew pointed out, there is a big difference between a sexualized man, and an idealized man. But for some reason, there is no distinction between women in games. For the most part.02/26/2015 - 8:25pm
Andrew EisenI think one of the issues we run into repeatedly with these conversations is the confusion over "sexy" and "sexually objectified."02/26/2015 - 8:24pm
E. Zachary KnightYet, for some reason, in orde rto have a sexualized women, she must be wearing lingerie or a bikini. Can't women be sexual and still dress for the job at hand?02/26/2015 - 8:24pm
E. Zachary KnightThe problem I have with complaints of "sexualized men" is that men don't have to wear speedos to be sexualized. Captain Jack Harkness from Torchwood/Doctor Who, was one sexy man, but he spent 99% of his time in a WW2 soldier's trenchcoat.02/26/2015 - 8:23pm
Andrew EisenThat there's more to her character than her sexualization? Sure (depending on which depiction we're talking about). No one's claiming that there are zero examples of female characters beyond their sexualization.02/26/2015 - 8:22pm
 

Be Heard - Contact Your Politician