So you handled all the killing and thuggery in GTA San Andreas but found yourself traumatized by the hidden, pixelated sex?
Don’t spend your Hot Coffee lawsuit settlement money just yet.
The New York Times reports that the Hot Coffee class-action lawsuit, which was nearing settlement, has been tossed by a federal judge:
…Judge Shirley Wohl Kram wrote that purchasers of the game could not be lumped together in a class action. The claims of members of the proposed class would be affected by the law in each purchaser’s home state, Judge Kram wrote, and therefore could not be resolved in a single proceeding in federal court in New York.
“Accordingly, the court decertifies the settlement class on the grounds that common issues do not predominate over individualized issues,” the judge wrote.
The judge’s latest decision undermines a settlement agreement reached between lawyers for purchasers of the game who contended they were offended by the hidden scenes, on the one hand, and lawyers for the game’s makers, Take-Two Interactive Software and Rockstar Games.
The NY Times notes that less than 3,000 GTA San Andreas buyers had applied to join the lawsuit. The paper had previously questioned the size of the plaintiffs’ legal fees in the case. Meanwhile, attorney Ted Frank of Overlawyered writes:
Take Two spent millions negotiating and administering a settlement because the court refused to rule on its decertification motion last year; that wasted effort demonstrates why it is important for courts to resolve certification questions early in the case. But with no certified class, there can be no class settlement…
Frank, who joined the class and filed objections to the proposed settlement, wonders whether there will be an appeal.
The judge’s ruling may be found here…