Pokemon GO Now Facing Class-Action Lawsuit

Fed up with the way Pokemon Go draws crowds of people to a park near their home, a Detroit couple has filed a class-action lawsuit against Niantic, the creators of the mobile gaming juggernaut.

PokeSuit_01The Detroit Free Press reports that the couple, identified as Scott and Jayme Dodich of St. Clair Shores, sued developer Niantic, Nintendo, and The Pokemon Company in California federal court.

The Dodiches are suing to try to stop Niantic from placing Pokemon on or near private properties without explicit permission and the owner’s blessing.  Additionally, the lawsuit demands that a share of the Pokemon Go revenue be given to residents whose properties are claimed to have positively impacted the game’s success.

The lawsuit goes on to state that Pokemon Go has reached 30 million downloads and brought in more than $35 million US.  The actual numbers may be even higher, however, as Niantic stated to the Los Angeles Times this month that the game has been downloaded upwards of 100 million times. Though official revenue figures have yet to be shared, a recent report claimed Pokemon Go brought in $200 million in its first month alone.

PokeSuit_02The Dodiches explain in the lawsuit that they are fed up with Pokemon Go players trampling their lawn, peeking into their windows, and, in some cases, even swearing at them.  They reside across the street from Wahby Park, a Pokemon Go gym, and seven PokeStops are in the nearby area. “Hundreds” of people appear on any given day, the lawsuit states.

“Nobody gets sleep anymore,” the lawsuit explains. “How is this acceptable? —They hang out on our lawns, trample landscaping, look in vehicles … We don’t feel safe … I don’t feel safe sitting on our porch.”

“[The] Defendants have shown a flagrant disregard for the foreseeable consequences of populating the real world with virtual Pokemon without seeking the permission of property owners,” 


Niantic has not commented on the lawsuit as of yet.

The Dodich family is not the first to speak out against Pokemon Go for encroaching on their personal property.  A Massachusetts man who resides in a converted church currently designated as a Pokemon Gym has lobbied Niantic to adjust their GPS coordinates, according to the Associated Press.  Additionally, Pokemon used to show up at the Holocaust Museum and the Hiroshima bombing memorial before officials got in touch with Niantic to remedy the situation.

Niantic currently allows anyone to request an exclusion using this form, but there are no guarantees the petition will be successful.


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