Former FTP management against class action and discovery process. Some of the defendants in a lawsuit that seeks to recover gambling losses from former Full Tilt Poker -Tiltware LLC individuals and entities asked a federal judge this month for a protective order against class action discovery, reports the Madison Recorder.
The newspaper reports that as an alternative, Tiltware LLC and five other defendants have requested an order staying the discovery process until the federal court for the Southern District of Illinois rules on their pending motions to dismiss the class action.
The class action, led by Judy Fahrner, was filed in January this year against 26 defendants, comprising both individuals and companies associated with Full Tilt Poker, a website that offered online poker action but is now under the changed ownership and management of The Rational Group.
Fahrner claims that she and other Illinois residents invested money into the site’s poker games and lost it all in 2011 when the Department of Justice shut down the card rooms on Black Friday.
The suit requests class action status to recover gambling losses and up to three times the amount of losses in damages under the Illinois Loss Recovery Act (LRA), 720 ILCS 5/28-8 .
The Madison Record notes that the statute provides that “…any person who by gambling shall lose to any other person, any sum or money or thing of value, amounting to the sum of $50 or more …may sue for and recover the money or thing of value, so lost and paid or delivered, in a civil action against the winner thereof, with costs, in the circuit court.”In an immediate response to the filing last week, and stating their opposition to any discovery process, the defendants said that neither the LRA or case law makes provision for class action relief .
“The reason for absence of class action cases involving third parties is simple—a third party instituting a claim under the LRA may only recover on behalf of herself, although she may recover losses sustained by multiple losers,” the defendants state in their motion.
The legal wrangle over the admissibility of a class action, and the consequent right to pursue a discovery process went on at some length, with Fahmer claiming that she brought her class action complaint “…on behalf of similarly situated Illinois residents who are likewise closely related to gambling losers and are thus able to recover under the statute.”
In her court filing, Fahrner argued that the defendants’ motion to dismiss should fail because her suit states a plausible claim, the court has jurisdiction over the defendants and a prior court-ordered settlement does not bar the suit. The case continues and a judge's ruling on its admissibility is awaited.