A Michigan couple that claims the Pokémon Go mobile game has turned their neighborhood into a “nightmare” has filed a class action lawsuit against the game’s creators, Niantic, The Pokémon Company and Nintendo.
The Pokémon Go mobile game was introduced in the U.S. in July 2016. In this “augmented reality” game, players use their smart phones to “capture” Pokémon in real world surroundings using the GPS, gyroscope and camera features on their smart phones. Images of Pokémon appear superimposed over the real world landscape and players “capture” them by swiping their phone screens.
Unfortunately for the St. Clair Shores, Michigan, couple, Niantic programmed a number of Pokémon in and around their private neighborhood cul-de-sac and the game-playing crowds soon followed. Hundreds of players flooded a nearby park, trespassed onto private property and even peeked in the windows of neighborhood homes.
When the couple and their neighbors tried to get players to leave their property, they were threatened and ignored, according to the legal complaint. The couple tried numerous times to contact Niantic to request that the Pokémon be removed from their neighborhood but never received a reply.
The suit claims that the unauthorized, intentional placement of Pokémon on or near private property violates the plaintiffs’ rights to use and enjoy their property and that the defendants are liable for nuisance and unjust enrichment.
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