Video game class action removed under federal act

Steve Gonzalez Oct. 6, 2005, 8:26pm

The most recent class action filed in St. Clair County over a controversial rating on a video game has been removed to federal court under the Class Action Fairness Act.

Brenda Stanhouse filed suit Sept. 8 claiming her teen-age children were exposed to sexually explicit content in a video game called "Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (GTA)."

She claims at the time she bought the game--in which police-shooting characters are heroes--it was rated “M” for mature by the Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB).

An “M” rating signifies that the game contains some mature content, but no sexually explicit content that would merit an adults-only “AO” rating.

She claims the defendants failed to disclose to consumers material facts about the sexually explicit content of GTA and provided misleading and deceptive information that GTA was an “M” rated game, rather than an “AO.”

“The unlawful method, act or practice has caused economic loss and damage to plaintiff, and, upon information and belief, has caused similar injury to millions of other persons who purchased the deceptively rated game,” Stanhouse’s complaint states.

She is asking the court to maintain her case as a class action and appoint her as the class representative. No class member is seeking damages in excess of $75,000.

“All persons in the United States who purchased at retail, GTA that contained an “M” rating” are eligible to join the class, the complaint states.

Stanhouse is represented by John Steward and Lance Harke of Nester and Constance in Belleville.

However, Peter Herzog of Bryan Cave in St. Louis claims Stanhouse's complaint exceeds $5 million dollars and based on her complaint will have more than 100 class members.

Signed into law on Feb. 18, the Class Action Fairness Act requires claims seeking more than $5 million be filed in federal court.

The case has been assigned to U.S. District Judge William Stiehl.

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Organizations in this Story

Bryan Cave
1 Metropolitan Square
St. Louis, MO 63102

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