Games Workshop Being Sued for $62.5 Million

By Polar_Bear
In Games Workshop
Aug 7th, 2017
16 Comments
5351 Views

Well, this is interesting. Many of you that know LGS owners know that there’s some… tension at times between shop owners and Games Workshop. That usually has to deal with required ordering numbers and minimum purchases and such. Well, one shop owner has decided that the way it’s done has gone too far. They’re suing Games Workshop for $62.5 million.

About the case:

The latest chapter in the house of Games Workshops’ legal troubles is here, as they are being sued for $62.5 million dollars amid 6 criminal complaints.

Game store owner, and legal counsel David Moore has filed a criminal complaint in the US Federal Court of Southern Florida alleging six criminal violations of US law and is seeking $62.5 million in equitable relief from Games Workshop.

Moore alleges violations of the U.S. Law and RICO under 18 & 15 U.S. CODE, including but not limited to Fraud, Price Fixing, Tortious Interference, Breach of Contract, Unjust Enrichment, Restraint of Trade, Conspiracy and Antitrust Violations.

Source

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  • Lexthilian

    Interesting. I doubt much will come out of it, but it’s nice to see GW in the crosshairs since they have targeted so many others will legal crap.

    • Cergorach

      I really do hope that GW is forced to change it’s ways in the US, but a $62.5 million claim… That’s scandalous! Feels like nothing more then a desperate cash grab.

      • BloodAngel

        They always aim high, because a court will almost always award less. Also, in the case of a settlement, it is a starting point that would be negotiated down.

        • odinsgrandson

          I think he’s aiming too high.

          He’s proposing that the court award him 62 million and all of GW’s IP- with which he will start a non-profit to correct all of GW’s wrongs in the US and manage the transition of GW’s IP to public domain.

          I’m no lawyer, but that just doesn’t seem like the sort of thing that US courts do.

  • Rob

    Actually, the price fixing and the unjust enrichment charges might stick. Restraint of trade in only how there contract limits sales and the breach of contract could be a monster if its documented. That might be how they get Tortious Interference.. like forcing them to rebudget to meet requirements that seem to change monthly. If any of this if found to bear fruit and can be proven its multi state theres your RICO case alone.. so yeah something to watch.

    • Perkysaurus

      every model company has an msrp and contract clauses to prevent heavy discounting.

      • odinsgrandson

        That doesn’t make it legal.

        I remember SEGA got into this sort of trouble when the Dreamcast was failing (there was some price fixing).

        To be honest, I’m not sure exactly what the law is and whether or not Games Workshop are in violation.

    • odinsgrandson

      When I talk to LGS owners, they always complain about GW deciding what their store has to stock.

      Especially when some lines aren’t selling. Like Lord of the Rings.

      That has always seemed shady to me, but I haven’t researched US law, so I don’t know how legal it is.

      A lot of GW’s recent business practices seem like paranoia to me. I’ve complained that they’re bad for their business before, but I wouldn’t be too surprised if some of them are also illegal.

  • exquemeling

    I remember way back in the 80’s GW had a stranglehold on the UK market. Back then, GW sold TSR, GDW, FASA…heck, all sorts of US gaming merch in their stores. They were one of (if not THE) biggest importer and distributor of US gaming goods and they pretty much decided on what was going to be in supply in the UK. It got to the point where GDW sent out a letter to all corners of the gaming globe to recommend the small guys banded together and broke GW’s grip on UK and European distribution. I kept a opy of the letter, but all these years later, I’m damned if I can find it. Anybody else out there remember the letter or even have a copy of it..?

  • odinsgrandson

    A few things strike me:

    1- The plaintiff talks about Criminal Complaints. Is this a criminal case and not a civil one? That could make this much more dangerous ground for GW.

    2- The plaintiff is not seeking class status. An award would open the floodgates for legal action from pretty much every other US hobby shop (or at least all of them in Florida).

    3- The amount of money is really high. Games Workshop is a large company, but not that large. Their yearly profits tend to be around 10 million. 60 million is a massive burden, and I don’t think GW would survive it.

    Punitive Damages are based on the size of the business. That’s why someone who gets hospitalized by McDonalds recieves 2 million dollars (the idea is to convince McDonalds that it isn’t worth it to make their coffee hot enough to cause 3rd degree burns). They’re not supposed to be large enough to put the business under.

    But I don’t know that the same logic applies here.

    • StevenS

      This guy is a nut job. Private citizens don’t have the power to bring “criminal” complaints. They have state and federal prosecutors for that and grand juries and so on. This will end with a 12(b)(6) motion and then GW will get fees and costs.

      • odinsgrandson

        Ok, I went through and read a bit more of what he had to say. And I now think that his suit is frivolous and he’s a nut job.

        He’s trying to go after GW for everything they’ve ever done to anyone (mostly not to him) and his goal is the end of GW (not something courts look favorably on). He wants the courts to award him all of GW’s IP and 60 mil so that he can start up a non-profit to run their IP.

        Maybe GW ripped off Heinlein, Giger, 20th Century Fox and whoever else, but that has nothing to do with this guy, so I think this will be thrown out as frivolous.

        I do wonder about the price fixing allegation. I’m not sure what the legal difference between price fixing and what GW is doing.

        If people are concerned that GW is illegally price fixing, do they need to find a DA who is willing to go after them?

        • Ghool

          There is a legal difference between trade agreements and vertical price-fixing. As far as I can tell, this is all trade agreements and nothing to do with vertical price-fixing.

          But, the waters are muddy, and for now, these types of trade agreements are legal due to certain Supreme Court rulings (can’t remember which). However, if the case was large enough, I think it could go back in and get an alternate ruling.

          From what I see here, this guy is just another dude looking to gain publicity, or money. Or both.

          • odinsgrandson

            I think the trouble is that he comes across as a loony. He starts out talking about how “the US isn’t socialist like Europe.” I think you’d need an especially right wing activist judge to even consider hearing this case.

            He may or may not have a point with the trade agreements (I don’t know the law).

            But he sounds like he’s filing a suit based on legal advice he got from gaming forums.

        • StevenS

          Price fixing is an agreement between two or more entities to set a price in the industry. He didn’t even plead that did he? If GW controls most the model industry, they can set their prices however they want. That’s not price fixing, that’s having a monopoly. If the public is damaged by this, then the FTC can look at whether they need to be broken up for the good of the public (think old school Standard Oil, telephone companies, etc.). That’s not going to happen with a table top model company.

  • Peat Moss

    about time the tree gets a good shake………maybe this will clean house. then a reasonable priced product will be available to the whole world. seems worst then ritual suicide….the way they have been doing business

    maybe i dont understand the stupid pricing model GW uses and the nazi control of marketing and selling by FLGs……..but that dont make market grow. I havent bought a GW NIB in several years………except thru ebay at dirt prices

    even then……..the current minis world is a better product selection and affordable hobby………let the titanic sink