With a historic election year playing out across the nation, its hard to imagine that a popular late 90’s trading card game is leading the headlines. After several years out of the spotlight, Nintendo has given millennials a new taste of their favorite childhood game – Pokémon, this time with a new twist, it’s an app! Pokémon Go is the hottest mobile game since Candy Crush and Angry Birds, so popular that it’s currently competing with Twitter in terms of daily active users.
To bring up to speed those who may not be familiar, Pokémon Go is a game that uses your phone’s GPS and clock to geo-locate you and make Pokémon “appear” around you (on your phone screen, of course) so you can “catch” them. All is fun and good, but unfortunately, San Francisco based software developer Niantic Labs didn’t expect the level of danger that comes with playing their new virtual game… Pokémon Go users are causing a few more problems than one would think.
According to Insurance Journal, the following incidents have been attributed to Pokémon Go gameplay, since the app’s release date on July 6, 2016…
- A Utah Teen was given a trespassing ticket that could cost him up to $200 after he and some friends went on an early morning Pokemon chase at an abandoned grain silo.
- Homeowners all over the country are reporting players trespassing onto their properties at all hours of the night in search of Pokémon.
- Traffic Accidents
- One woman in Pennsylvania reported that her 15-year-old daughter was hit by a car while she was playing the game and crossing a busy highway.
- Police reported a 28 year old male woke up hours later in the hospital after experiencing a car accidents while driving and playing the game. He mentioned just looking away from the road “for a second”
- Police in Maryland are investigating an armed robbery where three suspects robbed a man of his cell phone and wallet outside of a convenience store where he was playing the game on his smartphone.
- Gruesome Discoveries
- A woman playing Pokémon Go found the body of a missing man along a river in central Wyoming.
When incidents like this occur, particularly the traffic accidents, who is responsible and whose insurance carrier has to pay? Senior law counsels around the country have studied the topic in detail and came to some very interesting conclusions that you might want to check out!