Sunday March 29,2015 : SONNENBERG POKER SAGA COMES TO AN END (Update)
Illinois court dismisses class action lawsuits against Pokerstars and Full Tilt.
Illinois court Judge David Herndon has ended the Sonnenberg saga, a long-running duo of class action lawsuits against Pokerstars and Full Tilt that dates back to 2012
Illinois residents Kelly Sonnenberg and Judy Fahrner launched the litigation, citing the Illinois Loss Recovery Act, an old statute that allows individuals to collect “illegal gambling” losses suffered by third parties, provided those gamblers haven’t filed claims themselves within six months of suffering their losses.
Early last year the cases were thrown out for lack of cause, although the court left a window of opportunity for a re-filing, which the plaintiffs seized to resurrect the case, adding players who had played poker on the websites.
It is these re-filed cases that Judge Herndon dismissed this week, finding that the plaintiffs had failed to prove that the two poker companies had actually profited (or won) the losses claimed. This meant that the case did not meet the requirements of an 1894 precedent which found that it is “the winner, not the keeper of the house, who is liable to respond to the loser.”
Judge Herndon also noted that although the plaintiffs had made extravagant claims regarding the amount of money lost by players to Pokerstars and Full Tilt, they had failed to present any winning gamblers or details of such successes.
Finally, the plaintiffs had filed their claims over a year after April 2011 (Black Friday) when the two poker companies left the US market, and that was outside the six month window of opportunity, the Judge said.
Gaming lawyer Jeff Ifrah represented the two online poker companies.