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Friday Roundup

Class Actions.  Imagine how you would feel as a parent.  You've gone out and bought your 15-year-old son Grand Theft Auto:  San Andreas for his Playstation.  Sure, it's a violent game, in which he'll get to kill and maim to his heart's content.  And that's just policemen and innocent pedestrians; what he gets to to do to the (other) bad guys has bodies stacked up like cordwood about an hour into the game.  But then you find out that if little Johnny downloads a cheat code, he can unlock a hidden portion of the game which allows him to watch his character engaging in simulated sex acts -- no genitalia observable -- with various "girlfriends."  The people who made the game didn't tell you about that part!  The horror!

At least, that's what Seth Lesser, the lead lawyer for the plaintiffs who filed a class action against the gamemaker for fraud, thought.  So he must have been disappointed when, of the 21.5 million people who bought the game, only 2,676 filed claims in the class action.

So this winds up being the payout for those claims:

Tier 1 (up to $35.00) (no exchange required): 416

Tier 2 (up to $17.50) (exchange required): 22

Tier 3 ($10.00) (exchange required): 131

Tier 4 ($5.00) (no exchange required): 2,050

Disc Exchange w/o cash: 57

The total payout to the claimants, who represented approximately 1/100th of 1% of the people who actually bought the game:  $30,000.  The total payout to the 12 law firms who represented the plaintiffs?  $1 million. 

Bad Santa.  This one, courtesy of the Volokh Conspiracy, needs no embellishment:

The Amalgamated Santas, one of the nation's largest Santa groups, are dealing with a schism in their ranks. The rift has left burly bearded men accusing one another of bylaw violations, profiteering and behaving in un-Santa-like ways. Some Santas have filed complaints of wrongdoing against others in Kentucky and Pennsylvania.

The once-fraternal Santa impersonators began to split last year when a power struggle unseated their top Santa and most of his board of directors. Further polarizing the Santa world, new splinter groups have formed to woo disaffected Clauses and their allies. The new Fraternal Order of Real-Bearded Santas, for example, also welcomes "affiliates of Mrs. Clauses, Designer Beard Santas and Elves."

And he ate $6.8 million in doughnuts after getting buzzed.  Our boys in blue down in Naperville have made their impact on the drug trade, as this story relates:

A man from Naperville's northwest side remained jailed Wednesday night on a $2 million cash bond, after being stopped on an Ohio highway with nearly $5 million worth of high-grade marijuana in his car, authorities said.

A search of the vehicle yielded 104 pounds of hydroponically-grown marijuana stuffed inside eight black plastic trash bags. Police said the marijuana had an estimated street sale value of more than $4.7 million.

As Drug War Rant points out,

According to my rough math, that's over $45,000 a pound or $2,824.52 per ounce. That makes it about three times as valuable as gold.

Bullshit lawsuit of the week.  From across the pond:

A Paddington train crash survivor who claimed he was turned into a killer by post-traumatic stress disorder stands to receive thousands in compensation after a landmark Appeal Court ruling today.

Judges ruled that Kerrie Gray, 48, is due damages from rail firms after he was incarcarated in a mental hospital for stabbing a pedestrian to death with a kitchen knife in August 2001, two years after the horrific crash in which 31 people died.

See you on Monday.

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