Montreal law firm Calex Légal has officially filed a request to launch a class action lawsuit against Epic Games and its Canadian subsidiary for effectively making Fortnite an addictive game to young people without providing suitable warnings. The request was filed this past Thursday on behalf of the parents of two minors, aged 10 and 15
Alessandra Esposito Chartrand, an attorney with Calex Légal, argues that Fortnite was engineered by Epic Games to make young people dependent on the game, likening playing it to using cocaine. “Epic Games, when they created Fortnite, for years and years, hired psychologists — they really dug into the human brain and they really made the effort to make it as addictive as possible,” reasons Chartrand. “They knowingly put on the market a very, very addictive game which was also geared toward youth.”
The grounds for this class action suit are built on the interpretation of a 2015 Quebec Superior Court ruling that determined tobacco companies did not provide ample warning to consumers about the dangers of smoking. According to Chartrand, Epic Games’ duty to inform follows the same legal basis.
There is a section in Fortnite’s terms of service that includes a waiver for going to court individually or as part of a class action, but Chartrand argues that those terms don’t stand up in Quebec because the province’s Consumer Protection Act requires companies to disclose risks involved with using their products or services.
At the time of this writing, there is no date on when a judge will rule on the class action request.