Should you bring a lawsuit against the creators of “Pokemon GO” if you get hurt playing? You probably will lose – here’s why

Terms of Service Conditions Rule Policy Regulation Concept
Terms of Service Conditions Rule Policy Regulation Concept

There seems to be a new story almost daily of someone getting in a car accident or injured in some way while playing the new game Pokemon GO on their phone. The game causes people to get distracted, resulting in falls, car accidents (yes, people are playing while driving) and even muggings. But what if you are hurt while playing Pokemon GO? Can you sue the creator of the app and get a financial settlement for helping to cause your injuries?

The answer is: most likely No. Why? The answer lies within the terms of agreement that you agreed to right before you start the process of actually downloading the game app to your cellphone. Included in that rather lengthy document are terms that specifically protects the app’s creator from you suing them.

Here are the sections of the Pokemon GO “Terms of Service” that relate specifically to what you are agreeing to that limit the company’s liability in case you are injured playing the app.

  1. Safe Play
    1. You play the game at your own risk. If you get hurt or hurt someone while playing, the company is not liable. An dispute you have with any other player does not involve the company, either.
  2. Conduct, General Prohibitions and Niantic’s Enforcement Rights
    1. A lengthy section that describes in detail the many things you can do to break the service terms and be banned by the company.
  3. Links to Third Party Websites or Resources
    1. You assume responsibility and risk from using any third party websites or resources while playing the game.
  4. Termination
    1. Niantic can terminate your access to the service at any time, without notice or warning to you.
  5. Disclaimer of Warranties
    1. There is no warranty of any kind.
  6. Indemnity
    1. You hold Niantic and everyone else connected to the game harmless for anything that may happen to you while playing the game.
  7. Limitation of Liability
    1. It is not Niantic’s fault if you lose data or money as a result of playing. At most, the company limits liability up to but not exceeding $1,000.
  8. Dispute Resolution
    1. If you have issue with any of these terms you agree to an independent arbitrator to settle any dispute. You agree not to join in a class action lawsuit and you also agree to go to waive your right to have a trial by jury.

According to consumerist.com, you can opt out of the “Terms of Service” agreement by sending a message directly to Niantic within 30 days of downloading the game. Instructions on how to do so are contained within the following article: https://consumerist.com/2016/07/14/pokemon-go-strips-users-of-their-legal-rights-heres-how-to-opt-out/

But be aware of the fact that Niantic can (and probably will) terminate you from playing the game. This is a fascinating topic that brings up an important facet of the law here in Florida, and the United States. Understanding what rights you could be signing away when you agree to a “Terms of Service” contract.

If you are injured due to the negligence of another person in Florida, you may have a right to bring a claim for various damages and injuries incurred. Call us at Slinkman, Slinkman & Wynne, P.A. We offer a free initial consultation, and our phone number is (561) 686-3400. Our main office is located in Jupiter, Florida. We have been devoted to protecting South Florida families for over 40 years.

If you want to learn more about how we can help you in a situation where someone you love has been in an accident or some other mishap caused by someone playing Pokemon GO or distracted in some other way while driving, then go to this page on our website: http://www.sswlawfl.com/areas-of-practice/wrongful-death/. We also specialize in Slip and Fall accidents, Wrongful Death & Serious Injury, Medical Malpractice, Defective Products, and many other types of legal situations where injury or death has occurred.

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