A legal firm in Montreal is requesting approval to launch a class-action lawsuit against Fortnite, citing the belief that the game is too addictive.
The notice has been written on behalf of the parents of two children aged 10 and 15. It claims that the game is similar to cocaine, and that it makes young people dependent on playing it through the release of dopamine in the brain.
Alessandra Esposito Chartrand, an attorney at the legal firm, told CBC News that after digging into the case, the firm recognized that there was a strong argument present.
The approval request was filed on October 4th against Epic Games and the company’s Canadian subsidiary.
A large portion of the lawsuit is based on a 2015 Quebec Superior Court ruling that decided tobacco companies failed to warn customers about the side effects of smoking. Chartrand says this lawsuit is similar because it focuses on the ‘duty to inform.’ She goes on to claim that the game was designed to be addictive.
“They knowingly put on the market a very, very addictive game which was also geared toward youth,” she told CBC News.
She says when a company releases a product that is dangerously addictive, then it should be responsible for informing people of the risk.
The parents behind the suit claim that if they knew how addictive the game was, they never would have bought it for their children.
It should be noted that the terms and services of Fortnite state that users have to give up the right to take legal action either individually or through a class-action lawsuit against the game.
However, Chartrand says that this does not hold up in Quebec because of the province’s Consumer Protection Act, which requires manufacturers to disclose dangers associated with products openly.
Source: CBC News