Man Sues Bethesda: Claims Oblivion Caused Seizures


Posted May 12, 2011 - By Stephen Johnson

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Oblivion horse armor

John Ryan McLaughlin has a problem with Bethesda's Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion.  The former Navy pilot claims that the game caused grand mal seizures, and as a result he lost his flight status. According to McLaughlin's suit, he was playing the game, when its strobe lights gave him a "seizure for the first time in his life," causing pain and breaking a bone, as well as permanently grounding the pilot from the F18s he flew.

According to the filing:

"The product was so designed that it exceeded the upper acceptable limit of more than 3 flashes over a 1 second period, as well as acceptable spatial pattern and luminance flash limits. These risks were not made known to the plaintiff and/or an ordinary consumer prior to the time of purchase."

Should the suit succeed, the damages here could be astronomical for Bethesda. McLaughlin would like his medical bills paid, product liability damages, and punitive damages.

I'm neither a lawyer nor a doctor, but here's how I'd argue against this suit:

  • The plaintiff probably spent a lot of time playing Oblivion--it's a big game--and the fact that his seizure came about while he was playing was nothing more than coincidence.
  • Oblivion sold millions of copies, and yet this is the only complaint of this nature I've heard of. If the product is really defective, wouldn't there be other cases, all over the country?
  • The defendant was playing as an "Acrobat" class*, and that's weak and lame to start with.

What do you think of this lawsuit?

Source: Courthouse News.

*not actually true.

Man Sues Bethesda: Claims Oblivion Caused Seizures


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