Full Tilt Wins Major Battle in Class Action Dismissals

February 1, 2012
Full Tilt Wins Major Battle in Class Action Dismissals

It appears that at least one legal hoop for Full Tilt Poker has been officially resolved. A class action lawsuit filed against Full Tilt Poker was largely dismissed against most of the defendants. US District Judge Leonard B. Sand handed down his decision on the matter on Monday.

The class action suit was initially filed by Steve Segal, Nick Hammer, Robin Hougdahl, and Todd Terry. They accused ten Full Tilt Poker pros, including Phil Ivey, John Juanda, and Howard Lederer, as well as five corporate entities of conversion. In addition, the corporate entities were accused of violations of the RICO Act. They were seeking more than $150 Million in damages.

The conversion charges were dismissed against the individual defendants in the suit and against corporate entities Tiltware and Pocket Kings Consulting because their plaintiff’s in the case failed to prove that they played a vital role in Full Tilt blocking players from being able to cash out their accounts.

However, sufficient proof remained for the conversion claim to continue against Pocket Kings Ltd., Vantage Ltd., and Filco Ltd. Judge Sand made this decision with leave to amend, meaning the plaintiffs can amend their filing to further try to make their case against Tiltware and Pocket Kings Consulting. The charges against the individual defendants were dismissed without leave to amend.

In regards to the Rico charges, they were dismissed against the corporate entities because Judge Sand claimed that is was not clear “whether the direct cause of Plaintiffs’ injuries was the decision by the U.S. Attorney’s office to temporarily shut down the Full Tilt Poker website and seize the company’s assets or was instead, as Plaintiffs’ conversion allegations suggest, the subsequent decision by one or more of the Defendants to halt player withdrawals from the Full Tilt Poker website.”

Jeff Ifrah, legal counsel for Full Tilt Poker, filed a press release on the matter claiming a victory for those that received full dismissal and even partial victory for those that the complaint can continue against. He also made clear his hope that the courts will help others with lawsuits against the company to abandon said suits. He stated that, “The Court’s decision recognizes that relief for the players is being pursued by the United States. There is no compelling basis to open additional doors for private class action lawyers to pursue that very same relief.”

A statement from the group that originally filed the class action lawsuit has not been made public as of yet, nor have any plans been made public as to whether they will indeed seek to amend the complaint.

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