It was only a matter of time before someone filed a lawsuit against the mega popular augmented-reality game. With today’s society attempting to sue nearly everybody in order to place blame rather than taking responsibility for their own actions, are we really surprised? (Everyone remembers the lawsuit against McDonald’s for making someone’s kid fat, and the person that sued because they spilled hot coffee on themselves, right?)
A New Jersery resident has filed the lawsuit claiming that Niantic has placed Pokémon in his backyard without his consent, which has encouraged at least five different people to knock on his door, requesting access to his backyard in order to catch the pocket monsters.
Jeffrey Marder, the plaintiff, said that this has been interfering with the use and enjoyment of his home. He also stated that Niantic, Nintendo, and The Pokémon Company are profiting from a game that encourages trespassing.
“To create that immersive world, Niantic made unauthorized use of Plaintiff’s and other Class members’ property by placing Pokéstops and Pokémon gyms thereupon or nearby,” the filed lawsuit states. “In so doing, Niantic has encouraged Pokémon Go’s millions of players to make unwanted incursions onto the properties of Plaintiff and other members of the class — a clear and ongoing invasion of their use and enjoyment of their land from which Defendants have profited and continue to profit.”
Niantic, Nintendo, and The Pokémon Company have three weeks to respond to the suit.
Marder went on to say that Pokémon GO has placed Gyms and Pokestops on other pieces of private property without the owner’s consent. Since the popular game was created by the developers of the GPS based game Ingress, most of the locations used for Gyms and Pokestops were derived from the game’s data, which was added by players of the game. A lot of the locations are outdated, so there are many opportunities for errors to occur.
It will be interesting to see how this all plays out. If any of the defendants pay out to Marder, it could open up a whole slew of lawsuits if people want to try and take advantage of the system. However, things could turn around and Pokémon GO players could end up being involved with their own lawsuit, since trespassing is illegal and the game encourages players not to do so.