Vice City Wrongful Death Suit Dismissed


Jack Thompson’s $600 million Grand Theft Auto: Vice City wrongful death suit has been dismissed by a New Mexico appeals court.

New Mexico Judge Valerie Huling first ruled against the suit in December 2007 on two grounds: that the state had no jurisdiction because neither Sony nor Take-Two had offices there, and because New Mexico laws did not support Thompson’s wrongful death claim. A report in the Las Cruces Sun-News said the plaintiffs were given 30 days to appeal following the dismissal, but none was filed prior to the deadline.

Thompson refused to respond to a GamePolitics request for comment, but in April he told the site, “[The local attorney] is in charge of filings in New Mexico. I have nothing to do with the appeal.”

The suit was brought in the case of Cody Posey, who was 14 years old when he murdered his father, stepmother and stepsister in a case that gained national attention primarily because it took place on Sam Donaldson’s ranch, where Posey’s father was a caretaker. It was later determined that Posey had suffered from brutal long-term abuse from his father, according to a Joystiq article, including being beaten with a board and burned with a metal rod after he refused his father’s urging to have sex with his stepmother.

Even Posey’s lawyer, who was approached with the Grand Theft Auto defense prior to the beginning of the trial, declined to bring it up, saying, “I didn’t see it as a meritorious defense. I was far more concerned about the abuse Cody suffered over the years than any connection to playing a game on the computer.” The judge in the case found Posey was suffering from depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, and sentenced him to treatment at a juvenile facility until he’s 21.

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