Thursday August 18,2011 : A second class action has been launched in the United States
Embattled Full Tilt Poker, already reeling from the effects of Black Friday and facing a wide-ranging class action is now confronted with a second, and more focused, class action in the United States.
Two Canadians, Zayn Jetha and Donald Whelan, are the plaintiffs in the latest action, which was filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York last week. The litigation is focused on various companies associated with Full Tilt, and three individuals – Ray Bitar, Howard Lederer and Nelson Burtnick.
It has been filed on behalf of any player – within or outside the USA – who held accounts on FTP and who “has not been paid back any or a portion of [account] balance.”
In addition to the return of players’ funds and the payment of costs and legal fees, the plaintiffs seek punitive damages.
In June a previous action was filed by Todd Terry, Nick Hammer, Steve Segal and Robin Hougdahl . This action was filed on behalf only of US players, and listed FTP associates like Pocket Kings and Pocket Kings Consulting, Tiltware, Filco, Kolyma Corporation, Ranston Ltd. and Mail Media Ltd, demanding the return of funds and damages.
The Terry case is making progress, with proof of service achieved in respect of Pocket Kings. One of the original defendants named in the action, Phil Gordon, was subsequently removed from the list of defendants after oral arguments established that he was not in a position to make or influence management decisions at FTP. The remaining defendants include several well-known poker pros.
One major difference between the two actions is the inclusion of a RICO claim in the Terry suit, a tactic that takes advantage of a provision in the law allowing for a claim of thrice the damages suffered.