Judge Rules Lineage Lawsuit May Proceed

| 3 Sep 2010 18:43

The man who sued NCsoft for his addiction to Lineage II has scored a victory of sorts after a judge ruled that the game's End User License Agreement doesn't preclude him from launching a lawsuit and seeking damages.

What do you do after you've sunk 20,000 hours of your life into an MMO and rendered yourself a useless, non-functioning piece of garbage who can't be bothered to bathe, get dressed or even communicate with your fellow human beings? If you're Craig Smallwood of Hawaii, you sue the company that made the game for failing to warn people that playing an MMO can be dangerous. It sounds ridiculous, but Smallwood's action has cleared its first legal hurdle: Despite NCsoft's assertion that the EULA forbids such lawsuits, the judge in the case has decided to let it go ahead.

The Lineage II user license states that "in no event shall NC Interactive ... be liable to you or to any third party for any special, incidental, consequential, punitive or exemplary damages ... regardless of the theory of liability" arising from the use of its service. But rather than dismiss the suit, Judge Alan C. Kay "noted that both Texas and Hawaii law bar contract provisions that waive in advance the ability to make gross-negligence claims." As a result, he ruled that Smallwood's case may proceed.

The judge also allowed Smallwood's claims for negligence, defamation and negligent infliction of emotional distress to stand, although as lawyer Steve Roosa noted on the Freedom to Tinker blog, "The fact that the gross negligence claims survived is significant in and of itself, but in reality having the right to sue for 'gross negligence' is the functional equivalent of having the right to sue for straight-up negligence as well - thus radically broadening the scope of claims that (according to the court) cannot be waived in a User Agreement."

The ruling has no bearing on the merits of the lawsuit itself but Roosa noted that it could have an impact on future cases, writing, "The Smallwood decision, if it stands, may achieve some lasting significance in the software license wars." A full copy of the ruling is available from us.archive.org. (PDF format)

Source: The Register

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Hey hold up...this is interesting...

EULA's CANNOT override the Participants legal rights?

That makes things VERY interesting, especially for Apple and Micro$oft.

According to my business law professor, no EULA/waiver/etc. can override your fundamental rights.

OT: For those who say that this case is ridiculous, yes it is, but think about this: Ever wonder why products sometimes have strange, outlandish warnings against usage that anyone with a fraction of common sense would never attempt? It's mainly because at some time since the product was available, someone, somewhere used the product (sometimes multiple times) in the way the warning advises against.

Wouldn't surprise me if MMOs started having an addiction warning label after this court case is finished.

Well I completely agree it's a ridiculous case, but at the same time, didn't something similar happen with tabacco companies? The release an addictive product with no warnings and got sued... I mean, to any normal person it seems pretty stupid and obvious (especially when it's a psychological addiction and not a physical one such as the body craving nicotine). It's not like I can sue Samsung for making a TV that I just HAVE to use every day! But yeah, I hope very little comes of this... That guy is a retard.

Hey hold up...this is interesting...

EULA's CANNOT override the Participants legal rights?

That makes things VERY interesting, especially for Apple and Micro$oft.

They're effectively being sued for making a product he wants to play, and because he has an addictive personality. Fucking great.

That's all part of the game!

And I though sueing Fast Food Stores was the most rediculous court case ever.

I would love to see cases like this handeled by Judge Judy.

Then turn it into a driking game.

Right now I'm thinging, drink every time Judge Judy says "Balony"...... that might actually survice...

Wow... Just wow. People like him are the ones that ruin something good for everyone. Censorship and more unrealistic gameplay sure to come because idiots like him don't know how to turn off the game.

This is fucking stupid. I hope when this actually gets to court this idiot gets laughed out of the court room.

I have my doubts this guy will win, and when the case is resolved against him, that will stop this nonsense entirely.
This could very well be big with software companies trying to make their EULA's legal documents.
I call this a positive thing.

...I still hope this gets thrown out - Its rediculous!

I hope that he doesn't get a dime, but I'm glad his case proceeded, because it demonstrates that there are no exceptions to the law (the one saying you can't sacrifice right to sue in a EULA), and shows that EULA's are not infallible, which I think is a good thing, since I think EULA's in general are bullshit.

I'm going to sue God for designing me so that I have to masturbate at least weekly. I never signed on for that!

W00t! Gum companies, here I come with my lawsuits about my lack of self control!

In all seriousness, I'm hoping the judge was just planning on making the man waste his all money away in this lawsuit so that he'll not bother society again.

Is this guy going to be "in the courtroom" via webcam? If not, doesn't that kinda contradict his argument?

To be honest I'm more impressed with the amount of time he's spent on the game than that this actually went ahead. I mean, cases like this crop up all the time, but... 20,000 hours? Twenty THOUSAND!? Assuming that's actual logged game time, that's... *consults Windows calculator* that's over TWO YEARS! How is this POSSIBLE!?!?!?

Yeah, if I played something that long I doubt I'd have much basic motor function left either. Still, I'd know it was my own stupid fault.

Well he's definatly following the formula alot of people follow nowdays:
Do something idiotic and totaly your fault

Blame others for it




Pants-on-head retarded.

God damned ninja.
While I hope this guy loses his case miserably, I do agree with the judge's ruling. That should not have been the reason for this case to get thrown out, especially since it would be worse for precedent. When the courts do throw this case out or rules in favor against him it will be saying that game companies are not liable for people not being able to exert self-control, not because of EULAs.

It's almost impossible for a case to lose Summary Judgement because all the guy has to show is that their MIGHT be a case, the defense has to prove there is absolutely no case for them to proceed on which is extremely difficult. I'm sure it won't win its case n court.

I hope the guy who pressed the charges gets hit by a bus

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