Michigan Ordered to Pay Legal Fees over Failed Video Game Law

Michigan taxpayers will foot the bill for the state’s failed 2005 video game law.

Gov. Jennifer Granholm (signing the video game bill at left) led Michigan’s push to restrict violent games from underage buyers. However Federal District Court Judge George Caram Steeh ruled the state’s law unconstitutional in April of this year.

Based on that ruling, the video game industry sought to recover its legal expenses. On Thursday Judge Steeh granted the industry’s motion, ordering Michigan to pay $182,349. According to an ESA press release, the industry – which has never lost one of these cases – has now recovered more than $1.5 million in legal fees for jurisdictions including Illinois, Washington, Indianapolis and St. Louis.

Said ESA boss Doug Lowenstein:

States that pass laws regulating video game sales might as well just tell voters they have a new way to throw away their tax dollars on wasteful and pointless political exercises that do nothing to improve the quality of life in the state…

Our hope is that we can stop this pick pocketing of taxpayers and start working cooperatively, as we have with several states and elected officials, to implement truly effective programs to educate parents to use the tools industry has made available – from ESRB ratings to parental control technologies.

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