Fortnite (opens in new tab) continues to be catnip for lawyers, this time finding itself targeted by a Montreal legal firm that's requested authorisation for a class action lawsuit on behalf of parents of two children who are allegedly addicted to the battle royale.
Calex Légal says it was contacted by parents who claimed that their children had become dependent on the game, which they would not have let them play had they realised there was a risk.
The firm compared Fortnite to cocaine and tobacco, claiming that Epic "knowingly put on the market a very, very addictive game which was also geared toward youth." It believes the case has the same legal basis as a 2015 class action lawsuit against tobacco companies for not informing customers about the danger to their health.
Earlier this year, the World Health Organisation officially recognised "gaming disorder (opens in new tab)" as a disease, a decision that's brought up in the authorisation request, which also alleges that Epic hired psychologists and "really dug into the human brain and they really made the effort to make it as addictive as possible."
Even before the WHO decision, Fortnite was a magnet for lawsuits, particularly over its use of existing dance moves for its emotes. Several artists began legal proceedings against Epic for using their dances without permission or attribution, though they hit some speed bumps and were put on ice in March.
While Fortnite includes a waiver to stop people from being part of a class action lawsuit, Calex Légal claims that, in Quebec, it would be negated by the Consumer Protection Act, which requires companies to warn customers about potential risks, like addiction.
Cheers, CBC (opens in new tab).