What are the legal ramifications of Pokemon Go?

Pokemon Go has taken the world by storm. It is one of the most downloaded apps in history. Unfortunately, many injuries have resulted due to the app.  As players attempt to capture Pokemon’s, they must view the world through their device and cell phone screens.  This augmented perception of reality has lead to a variety of injuries, and even death.  In California, 2 men fell off the side of a cliff.  In North Carolina, a teenager was shot while attempting to capture a rare Pokemon on a neighbor’s property.  In Missouri, armed robbers used the app to predict when people would arrive at certain isolated locations.  Also, numerous car accidents have occurred as a result of using the app.

Although the law is undeveloped as it relates to legal claims stemming from Pokemon Go, certain causes of actions may arise. Negligence involves a company breaching a duty of care, which causes injury.  If one can establish that the makers of Pokemon Go breached such a duty, and that breach caused injury to a person, claims for negligence (personal injury) and wrongful death may be pursued. Moreover, Pokemon Go may give rise to additional claims for trespassing and nuisance.

Before filing claims against the manufacturers of Pokemon Go in court, please keep in mind that the terms of service for the app involve an arbitration clause.  Injured players are bound to resolve claims through binding arbitration as opposed to in court with a jury.  However, players do have 30 days to opt out of the arbitration clause.  Furthermore, if a non-player is injured due to the app, they are not likely bound by the arbitration clause, and can pursue their claim through the courts.

If you or a loved one has been injured because you or someone else was trying to “catch ’em all,” contact us today.  We are currently reviewing claims in Cleveland, Ohio and nationwide.