Pokemon Go Trespassers: Could You Be Liable For Injuries?
Pokemon Go has captured the nation’s attention, both in terms of the number of people playing the virtual reality application, as well as the number of ways people are becoming injured while playing. The app is being blamed for resulting in car and pedestrian accidents, violent crimes and robberies, and well as for personal injuries as the result of slip and fall accidents or running into objects. In their hunt for the game’s elusive creatures and their desire to rack up points, you could easily find Pokemon Go players trespassing on your property. While undoubtedly a nuisance for homeowners, could these trespassers end up costing you money in terms of homeowner liability? Unfortunately, the answer is yes, and the game could end up resulting in numerous injury claims from injured victims, as well as lawsuits against the game’s developers.
New Jersey Man Files Lawsuit Over Pokemon Go Trespassers
According to an August 2016 Channel 4 New York news report, a New Jersey man has filed the first ever lawsuit against the makers of the game application Pokemon Go, alleging the developer used his location without permission and is encouraging gamers to trespass on his property. The complaint was filed against the companies behind the game, Niantic Inc. and Nintendo, after the homeowner repeatedly experienced game players trespassing on his property and even going so far as to ring his doorbell to gain access to his fenced in backyard.
For those unfamiliar with the game, it enables players to search for virtual reality creatures in actual settings through their camera phones, and has thus far racked up over 35 million users. Different types of creatures are worth varying amounts of points, and they appear in just about every type of public, and not so public, location. Recent controversy has erupted at cemeteries, churches, and military installations where gamers have sought access to play, including the Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC. The New Jersey man’s lawsuit alleges the developers failed to get permission to use the property owner’s location as a Pokestop for gamers, and demands that the company exclude him from their list.
Are Property Owners Liable For Injuries?
Amidst the controversy over gamers entering private property in their hunt for Pokemon points, questions have been raised over homeowner liability for any injuries players suffer. According to a recent Time Media report, while posting no trespassing signs can provide property owners a certain amount of legal protection against liability, they could still face increased homeowner insurance costs in the event a claim, even an unsuccessful one, is filed against them. Amidst reports of Pokemon Go players suffering potentially serious injuries, such as broken bones and muscle strains and tears as the result of falls or tripping over objects, it remains in a homeowner’s best interests to make sure their property is safe, well maintained, and free of debris.
Let Us Assist You Today
When you have serious concerns about your liability as a homeowner, contact our experienced New York real estate attorneys. At Cavallo & Cavallo, we provide the strong legal representation you need to protect your rights and interests. As your neighborhood law firm, we are always here, ready to answer your questions and address your concerns. We have offices in the Bronx and New Rochelle; call or contact us online today for a free consultation.