Pokemon Go class-action lawsuit grows despite game developer's efforts to appease plaintiffs

A class-action lawsuit against the makers of Pokeman Go is moving ahead even though the company has removed the lead plaintiff's home in a small Alberta hamlet from its app.

Alberta woman says her property has been inundated with players of the augmented-reality game

Barbie Schaeffer says since her property in a small Alberta hamlet was added to Pokémon Go as a gym, dozens of people regularly come on to her property at all hours. (Colin Hall/CBC)

A class-action lawsuit against the makers of Pokeman Go is moving ahead even though the company has removed the lead plaintiff's home in a small Alberta hamlet from its app.       

Barbie Schaeffer alleges she and her husband have been inundated with players on their private property in Torrington, Alta. since it showed up on the game's app as Pokemon Gym. 

Pokemon Go is played on a mobile app for iOS and Android phones. It features creatures that players "catch" in the wild and train to battle at gyms that are located at landmarks.

A Calgary lawyer says the plaintiff list for a class-action lawsuit against the company behind Pokemon Go is growing. (CBC)

Fed up with the "nuisance" players invading her privacy, Schaeffer hired Calgary lawyer Clint Docken, who launched a class-action lawsuit against the game's developer, Niantic Inc., with her as the lead plaintiff.

Docken says all Schaeffer has received so far from the California-based company is a "cryptic email" from Niantic that seems to say her house has been removed from the game.

But he said she is "not satisfied" that's the case yet, Docken said. 

Other plaintiffs signing up

The couple is still pursuing the lawsuit and Docken says other plaintiffs are beginning to sign up.

One of them, Jenny Latimer from Nanaimo, B.C. , alleges the augmented-reality mobile game invaded her privacy by listing her son's memorial in Burlington, Ont. as a Pokestop — a place where players can pick up Pokeballs, potions and other items.

Her toddler son, Kevin, died in 2004 after falling out a third-storey window. 

Earlier this month, Niantic sent Latimer a note saying it was removing the memorial from the game's map.

But Latimer says she was aggrieved while the memorial was still a part of Pokemon Go. "I was afraid it would get damaged," she said.

Ray Marshall says his quiet Edmonton district is being overrun with Pokemon Go players, many of whom fail to treat the area's many memorials to Canadian soldiers with respect. (CBC)

Ray Marshall says his Edmonton district of Griesbach — which features several memorials to Canada's military servicemen and women —  has also been overrun with as many as 250 players of the video game traipsing around the grass, littering and damaging public property.

"The humanity of people meeting people, especially the millennials, I applaud that," he said.

"Most of the players are great ... But it's a few that are making it pretty miserable for us," he said.

Marshall says he has been in touch with the Calgary law firm to discuss joining the class-action lawsuit. 

The suit still has to be certified by a judge to proceed as a class action.


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