Michigan couple suing 'Pokemon Go' makers for drawing players to public park

By Ben Hooper
Subscribe | UPI Odd Newsletter

ST. CLAIR SHORES, Mich., Aug. 16 (UPI) -- A Michigan couple's class-action lawsuit against Pokemon Go alleges the popular augmented reality game is ruining a local public park.

Scott and Jayme Dodich of St. Clair Shores said in their class-action suit, filed last week in northern California, that the game developed by San Francisco-based Niantic has been drawing an unusual number of visitors to Wahby Park, located near their home, and has been encouraging Pokemon hunters to seek the digital monsters on private property.


The suit says the park is home to multiple Pokemon Gyms and Pokestops, real-world locations with in-game significance for players.

Documents filed in the suit accuse the game of being a "nuisance" to locals and part of the "unjust enrichment of defendants at the expense of the St. Clair Shores property owners."

"In early July, shortly after the release of Pokemon Go, Plaintiffs noticed a significant increase in the number of visitors to Wahby Park, from an estimated 15 to 20 visitors at any given time to at least several hundred, most of whom were visibly using their mobile phones," the suit states.

"Plaintiffs soon learned that Defendant Niantic had placed a Pokemon Gym and at least seven Pokestops on the park, and had placed Pokemon on Plaintiffs' property as well."


The lawsuit, which also names trademark owners The Pokemon Company and parent Nintendo, is seeking a percentage of "all revenues generated by Pokemon Go."

St. Clair Shores Police Lt. Jason Allen said police in the town have responded to complaints about Pokemon Go players, mostly related to illegal parking, being in the park after hours and trespassing.

Allen told players "have about 16 hours of day to play, but the rest is not a good idea."

Plaintiff Scott Dodich said even those 16 hours are too many.

"This used to be a beautiful park, which is just getting completely destroyed from this traffic that it was not designed to handle," he told WJBK-TV earlier this month.

The Dodiches said they don't feel safe "sitting on our porch" due to players searching for Pokemon on their property.

Latest Headlines