Man Sues Bethesda Over Seizures Caused by Oblivion

May 11, 2011 -

A former U.S. Navy pilot says that a video game gave him a grand mal seizure that caused him to lose his flight status. John Ryan McLaughlin says he was playing the game Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion when "strobe lights" within the game (we assume he means bright multi-colored, flashing lights) gave him "a grand mal seizure for the first time in his life," causing excruciating pain and breaking a bone. The former F-18 pilot, says the seizures caused him to permanently lose his flying status.

He is suing Bethesda Softworks and its corporate parent, Zenimax Media, and Sony Computer Entertainment, which makes the Playstation 3. He apparently suffered the inuries on March 28, 2010. McLaughlin claims that the seizures were caused by the "defective product."

"The product was so designed that it exceeded the upper acceptable limit of more than 3 flashes over a 1 second period, as well as acceptable spatial pattern and luminance flash limits. These risks were not made known to the plaintiff and/or an ordinary consumer prior to the time of purchase," according to the defendant's lawyer. The defective and dangerous condition of the product, and that it was unsafe for the use and purpose for which it was intended when used by certain consumers as recommended, was expected and reasonably anticipated by the defendants, and each of them, or in the exercise of ordinary and reasonable care should have been known and discovered by defendants, and each of them."

McLaughlin is seeking "punitive and damages for negligence, breach of warranty, and product liability. He is being represented by Dennis Minna of Santa Ana.

Source: Court House News


Comments

Re: Man Sues Bethesda Over Seizures Caused by Oblivion

I just dug out my copy of Oblivion to check... on the very first page of the manual, inside cover, it has a "Important Health Warning About Playing Video Games" about photosensitive seizures. Its a 360 manual, but I'd think the PS3 manual is the same just with names and button images changed.

As for "These risks were not made known to the plaintiff and/or an ordinary consumer prior to the time of purchase" ... not true.  On the lower left hand corner of the case there is a Warning box photosenstive seizures.  Again this is a 360 box, but I'm assuming the PS3 box has the same design.

Its not Bethseda's fault if he didnt read thier notice.

Re: Man Sues Bethesda Over Seizures Caused by Oblivion

So, he's trying to say that the game gave him epilepsy?  Am I getting this right?

Re: Man Sues Bethesda Over Seizures Caused by Oblivion

No, that the game triggered an attack that he was not expecting. He's saying that if the game had warned him about the possibility, he might not have played that game (like other do).

Re: Man Sues Bethesda Over Seizures Caused by Oblivion

Well, if he had bothered to read the instruction book and/or the game box, he would have gotten his warning. He has no case.

_____________________________________________________________________________

"Power means nothing without honor and pride."

http://grifsgamereviews.blogspot.com My video game review site.

Atlanta Video Games Examiner for examiner.com

Re: Man Sues Bethesda Over Seizures Caused by Oblivion

Not saying he does, just explaining to the previous poster what was the case since he seemed confused...

Re: Man Sues Bethesda Over Seizures Caused by Oblivion

This pretty much sounds like a cash grab attempt.

Re: Man Sues Bethesda Over Seizures Caused by Oblivion

on the topic of frivilous lawsuits, can I file a suit for "winning" seizures from those "congratulations, you won" ads?

岩「if Phyllis Schlafly wants to undo Women's Rights, she should lead by example and get back in the kitchen」

岩「…I can see why Hasselbeck's worried about fake guns killing fake people. afterall, she's a fake journalist on a fake news channel」

Re: Man Sues Bethesda Over Seizures Caused by Oblivion

For those of you who don't know anything about epileptic seizures, the medical community has no idea what causes them, but they do know that anyone and everyone is susceptible to epileptic seizures at any point in their lives.

Many people go through life having experienced only one episode and/or never knowing they had experienced a seizure. You would be determined to have "epilepsy" if you've experienced seizures three or more times.

There is medication that prevents future episodes; however, again, the medical community is clueless. They don't know why the medication works. They just know that it does.

McLaughlin's claim is baseless.

Re: Man Sues Bethesda Over Seizures Caused by Oblivion

And as an epileptic followed by one of the top neurologist in the field, I call bullshit on you sir.

You can scan the brain of a sleeping patient to discover nearly every epileptic condition. The one I have is called "hereditary", even though it requires a specific set of circumstances to occur. Medication does help, but it does not remove the pain of certain stimuli. Worst, each seizure inflict more damage than the previous ones, making you lose memories and lessening your learning ability. I was treated after my first known seizure, I had a second since, but by my doctor estimate, I'm closer to five events.

Do not think your lack of knowledge in a subject applies to the top of the field in said field.

Re: Man Sues Bethesda Over Seizures Caused by Oblivion

My father experienced a single episode in his 60s. He had never had a seizure before and was in perfect health.

My dad had every test known to the medical community run on him, and spoke in-depth with "top" physicians and "top" neurologists, despite their unwillingness to investigate or stick around for longer than 10 minutes. The medical community doesn't know what causes epileptic seizures or epilepsy. They've determined the effects and how to prevent future episodes with continuous medication, but that's it.

Ask your "top" neurologist, "Why do epileptic seizures occur?" Press him/her. Calling something "hereditary" is just a cop out. S/he might as well call it "magic." Also note that you're still experiencing episodes and considered an "epileptic" because the medical community doesn't know how to fix the problem. Not exactly praise for your "top" neurologist.

Re: Man Sues Bethesda Over Seizures Caused by Oblivion

In my case, it's """simply""" bad coupling. Some people are epileptic due to damaged section of the brain, causing neurons to "short-circuit" or create close-loop feed. Then, pass a certain excitation level, and the buildup is inevitable until a discharge. Something similar is the cause for me, however, it's more akin to bad wiring all over the place. I have lots of miniature shorts (spasms), but if the shorts cause a close-loop or over-feed one are, it'll cause a seizure. As for the time that the doctor spent on your father, well, shame for you, but I don't know why you'd assume everyone's the same. I had many, many tests done, adjusted medication and constant follow-ups. If your father doesn't receive proper cares, I suggest you go look elsewhere rather than accuse an entire profession of flying blind.

Re: Man Sues Bethesda Over Seizures Caused by Oblivion

Okay - he was playing it on his PS3, according to what I found on the court documents. Otherwise I was going to wonder if he had done any modding to the game.

Re: Man Sues Bethesda Over Seizures Caused by Oblivion

That was my first thought, since i can't really think of any time Oblivion had flashing i'd consider seizure inducing. 

Re: Man Sues Bethesda Over Seizures Caused by Oblivion

http://www.station.sony.com/services/help/photosens.vm?locale=en

http://www.microsoft.com/games/home/photosensitive_warning.aspx

Yeah, I know, the first link may never work again. 

I'm pretty sure that every console and game I have (well maybe not the TI) includes "photosensitivity warnings". Note that the verbiage in the warnings identify the condition as the cause of the photosensitive seisures, not that the stimuli as the cause.  The visual effects may have triggered his condition, but i doubt they caused this condition to exist within his brain.  He'd be better off looking for the cause in his medical history.

 

Re: Man Sues Bethesda Over Seizures Caused by Oblivion

As much as it sucks, the fact is that he had to be somewhat predisposed and if the game hadn't given him a seizure then something else eventually would have. All of my console manuals have seizure warnings, and since Oblivion didn't give everyone a seizure then I don't think it should be called negligence on the game's part. Any other game circumstances might have provoked a seizure in this man.

-Austin from Oregon

Feel free to check out my blog.

Re: Man Sues Bethesda Over Seizures Caused by Oblivion

He should be thanking Bethesda that it happened while he was playing a game instead of flying.  

 

Pwnage of Empires Xbox 360 Indie RTS

Re: Man Sues Bethesda Over Seizures Caused by Oblivion

My thoughts exactly!  If he had a seisure while flying, he'd be dead! 

Re: Man Sues Bethesda Over Seizures Caused by Oblivion

True. Especially if there's something in his past that may have incited the seizures (i.e. concussion), and it happened, coincidently, during a game.

I, myself, experienced a similar incident. A concussion as a child, only to begin having grand mal seizures out of nowhere as an adult. Not during games, but point being: you never know when things like this might strike.

I had one behind the wheel. A telephone pole was nice enough to stop me from hitting an innocent driver. This guy's lucky he wasn't at 30,000 feet.

Re: Man Sues Bethesda Over Seizures Caused by Oblivion

Considering the age of the game and the success it has had, one would expect that significant numbers of people would have also had seizures from the game.  Sounds like a cash-grab to me. 

Re: Man Sues Bethesda Over Seizures Caused by Oblivion

The frequency (no pun intended) of a defective product causing a problem is not relevant in an individual suit.  That being said, when something is this rare it is a little odd.

Though I imagine if he was pulled off flight duty for it, the doctor probably has a pretty good paper trail.

Keep in mind, if the story is true, we are not talking 'minor inconvenience', we are talking 'life altering accident'

Re: Man Sues Bethesda Over Seizures Caused by Oblivion

on the paper trail thing, not really.

one seizure and its game over for pilots, especially military ones.

one guy in my command had a seizure, first of his life, they dropped him to LLD (Light Limited Duty) for a few weeks and looked into it, couldn't find anything so they let'em go back into the wild.

suddenly he had another one, this time aboard ship in his rack, and he was booted almost instantly from service, and given a very high disability rating for it (something around 80% or better) by the VA.

it only takes 1 or 2 little things for the military to pull the plug, and in the case of a pilot it takes even less.

 
Forgot your password?
Username :
Password :

Shout box

You're not permitted to post shouts.
MechaTama31But that's the thing, it doesn't sound to me like he is advocating bullying, it sounds like he is accusing the SJWs of bullying the "nerds", who I can only assume refers to the GGers.10/19/2014 - 11:21pm
Andrew EisenInteresting read. Unfortunately, too vague to form an opinion on but at least now I know what faefrost was talking about in James' editorial.10/19/2014 - 10:39pm
Neo_DrKefkaBreaking GameJournoPros organized a blacklist of former Destructoid writer Allistar Pinsof for investigating fraud in IndieGoGo campaign http://blogjob.com/oneangrygamer/2014/10/gamergate-destructoid-corruption-and-ruined-careers/10/19/2014 - 8:57pm
Neo_DrKefkaOnly good thing I seen come out of the Biddle incident was the fact a professional fighter offered to give 10k to an anti bullying charity for a round in the ring with Biddle.10/19/2014 - 7:49pm
Neo_DrKefkaEven after all the interviews she is still on twitter making fun of people with disabilities (Autism) yet she is a part of the crowd that is on the so called right side of history...10/19/2014 - 7:48pm
Neo_DrKefkaWhich #GameGate supports are constantly being harassed and bullied. Brianna Wu who I told everyone she was trolling GamerGate weeks ago with her passive aggressive threats was looking for that crazy person in the crowd.10/19/2014 - 7:47pm
Neo_DrKefkaI believe the problem #GamerGate has with Sam Biddle is he is apart of this blogging group that in a way hates or detests its readers. Also being apart of the crowd that claims its on the right side of history isn't helping when he is advocating bullying10/19/2014 - 7:45pm
MechaTama31Of course, I'm looking at these tweets in isolation, I don't know a thing about the guy.10/19/2014 - 7:06pm
MechaTama31If anything, the sarcastic implication seems to be that the SJW crowd is bringing back the bullying of nerds. But it's the GGers who are out for his blood? I'm lost...10/19/2014 - 7:01pm
MechaTama31I don't really get this Sam Biddle thing. The reaction to his tweets seems to be taking them at face value, but... they're tongue in cheek. Right?10/19/2014 - 7:00pm
Andrew EisenI have it. The problem, so far as I can tell, is neither of them allow me to overlay my webcam feed or text links to my Extra-Life fundraising page.10/19/2014 - 4:08pm
quiknkoldand yes, its free10/19/2014 - 4:05pm
quiknkoldshould grab Hauppauge capture. has mic support and can upload directly to youtube10/19/2014 - 4:05pm
Andrew EisenThe former.10/19/2014 - 4:00pm
quiknkoldwas it StreamEez, or the StreamEez feature in Hauppauge Capture? cause I know Capture has alot more support from the devs.10/19/2014 - 3:54pm
Andrew EisenI actually tried StreamEez last week. Flat out didn't work.10/19/2014 - 3:53pm
quiknkoldI use the Hauppauge Capture software's StreamEez. Arcsoft showbiz for recording. I just streamed a few hours of Persona 4 Golden with zero problem using the program. Xsplit is finniky when it comes to Hauppauge10/19/2014 - 3:40pm
Andrew EisenTrying to capture console games and broadcast with Open Broadcaster System because I've had technical difficulties using XSplit 3 weeks in a row.10/19/2014 - 3:37pm
quiknkoldand what are you trying to capture?10/19/2014 - 3:31pm
quiknkoldsame one I have. ok. what program are you using?10/19/2014 - 3:31pm
 

Be Heard - Contact Your Politician