Lawyers Plan Gambling Addiction Claims in America
Last month a group of 10 lawyers and academics with experience in prior liability cases met to discuss whether a lawsuit claiming online gaming further promotes gambling addition has any chance of winning.
The legal strategy they were discussing was modelled on the lawsuits that forced tobacco companies to pay $206 billion over 25 years to compensate for medical costs caused by smoking-related illnesses and to fund anti-smoking groups.
The lawyer Scott Harshbarger said that over 20 attorneys from high-profile law firms were invited to the meeting billed as a “gambling litigation study group”. Harhsbarger previously led states’ efforts against Big Tobbaco was unable to attend the meeting but said that he is working with the group.
However, David Stewart, a Washington-based lawyer with Ropes & Gray said “It’s a government-approved, regulated product. Nobody’s made Nordsrom reimburse somebody who is a shopaholic. The legal arguments are flawed. It’s gambling, and when you gamble, you lose.”
It seems that the antigambling Indianapolis group have a hard task ahead as they will have to deal with past precedents working against them as well as a 2004 federal appellate ruling that a group of gamblers could not be declared a single class as everyone gambles for a different reason.