January 20th, 2017
Individual Lab 1
Tort Law Case 1 – Wilson v. Midway Games, Inc.
In 1997, Yancy S. stabbed his friend Noah Wilson in the chest. The victim’s mother, Andrea, believed it had to do with an “addiction” to a popular video game called Mortal Kombat. Andrea Wilson blames the nature of the game for the death of her son. Were the game not so violent, perhaps Yancy would not have killed Noah. While Andrea felt entitled to damages under “theories of product liability, unfair trade practices, loss of consortium, and negligent and intentional infliction of emotional distress”, the motion to dismiss put out by Midway was granted for several reasons. For one, the game was not the literal, legal cause of death. The game did not kill him, as would a chainsaw. The article later states that “Yancy’s act of stabbing Noah…breaks the legal chain of causation and relieves Midway of liability”. The article then continues with the application of the First Amendment, explaining that Midway’s game and their property was still protected by the right of free speech. The basic explanation is that copyright protects the game, and is a medium of expression. The problem lies in that the First Amendment does not explicitly state what forms of speech it protects, nor is there a test. The application of the First Amendment must be done on a case-by-case basis. The court, however, decided that the First Amendment barred Wilson’s claim to emotional