Houston, TX (Law Firm Newswire) November 9, 2014 — A group of over 500 Texas Lottery players has filed a lawsuit against GTECH Corporation, the operator of the Texas Lottery, for more than $248 million in winnings that they claim they should have been paid.
The players allege that the Texas Lottery operator intentionally programmed lottery computers to deem a particular type of winning ticket a non-winner in the now-defunct Fun 5’s scratch-off game. Now, hundreds of players are suing GTECH, seeking their winnings and asking that the company be sanctioned with punitive damages.
“The winnings that the players are suing for should have been paid based on the plain language on the tickets,” says Richard LaGarde, an attorney for the plaintiffs. “GTECH created the game, wrote the rules that are printed on the tickets, and programmed the ticket redemption machines, but has refused to take responsibility for the fact that many players of this particular game were essentially cheated.”
The lawsuit contends that GTECH had a duty to program the ticket redemption machines in accordance with the printed rules of the game, so that all winning tickets are treated as such by the machines. Not only did GTECH fail to do this, claims the lawsuit, but the company also failed to rectify the problem for weeks, even after becoming aware of player complaints.
The Fun 5’s scratch-off game has been at the center of a growing controversy since the game was released in early September. Within days of the game’s debut, players began complaining that ticket redemption machines were rejecting some winning tickets. The Texas Lottery Commission shut down the game after only seven weeks, citing player confusion over the rules.
“Simply put, GTECH Corporation should not be allowed to sweep its mistake under the rug.” says LaGarde. “This lawsuit is intended to hold the company accountable and to help the winning lottery players obtain the prizes they were promised.”
The petition, James Steele, et al. v. GTECH Corporation, was filed in the Travis County District Court on Tuesday, December 9, 2014.
Download the verified petition (case no. D-1-GN-14-005114)
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LaGarde Law Firm, P.C.
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