IPE Update: Settlement Negotiations and Sanctions Ahoy!

On the last episode of In Plain English: Trion Worlds was issued a subpoena to produce information regarding the sale of assets to Gamigo, we learned about Golden Gate Games Inc, another entity that may possess some of Trion’s assets and whom the plaintiff intended on serving with deposition paperwork and possibly add as a defendant. The next conference was set for March 15.

Well you can throw that out the window, because it looks like we’ve taken a sharp (and predictable) left hand turn into settlement territory. The March 15 discovery conference and case management conference were both vacated with a 60-day delay to discovery, and a delay in the motion for class certification. Why the sudden cancellations and delays? The parties are seeking settlement negotiations.

“Counsel indicated that they have no pending discovery disputes, and that they jointly stipulate to 60 day stay of discovery, and delay in bringing the motion for class certification, in order to facilitate settlement negotiation.”

This isn’t too surprising, considering 97% of civil cases are settled before they even go to trial. It looks like Aaron Van Fleet’s crew are discussing negotiations with Trion’s insurer because the company’s insurance policy is literally the best remaining asset.

“On March 7, 2019, Plaintiffs’ counsel had preliminary discussion With counsel for Trion’s Directors and Officers Liability insurer. Trion’s Directors and Officers Liability insurance policy appears to be Trion’s most significant remaining asset. The policy is depleted by defense costs. The parties have agreed to explore potential resolution of the matter. Plaintiffs
request sixty-day stay of discovery between the parties (Plaintiffs and Trion Worlds, Inc.), so that the parties may explore potential resolution Without fithher depleting the limited resource potentially available to satisfy the claims of Plaintiffs and the proposed class. Trion agrees that sixty-day stay of discovery is appropriate.”

On the lawsuit side, the plaintiff’s lawyers have still been attempting to serve subpoenas to Golden Gate Games and Gamigo, evidently having no luck in either field.

“Plaintiffs have been unable to serve With subpoenas either Golden Gate Games, Inc. or Gamigo. They have not completed their investigation of whether to add either entity to the case, but do not anticipate doing so at this point. As discussed below, the parties have had preliminary discussion regarding potential resolution of the case. If those efforts are unsuccessful, Plaintiffs will make final determination about adding additional parties in advance of the next Case Management Conference.”

In other news, the plaintiffs are not happy at all with how Trion Worlds has been handing over requested documents, by which I mean how they have been refusing to hand over documents. Trion has allegedly been passing the buck on providing documents related to the illegal lottery, instead pointing to either Gamigo or the Trion shell that the assets were initially transferred over to. Due to Trion’s lack of cooperation, the plaintiffs are giving serious consideration to filing a motion for sanctions for failure to preserve documents despite having filed those requests nearly three years ago. If the sanctions are approved, it would be bad news for Trion and their legal team.

In fact, it seems like Trion Worlds is just in general refusing to cooperate. Trion’s council believes that the documents that the plaintiff have requested may be in the possession of Trion ABC or Gamigo. As for how to get in contact with Gamigo, Trion has so far not provided any information. Virtually every piece of documentation that Trion Worlds objected to was under claims that it was overly broad, vague, and oppressive, or violated attorney-client privilege.

As always, if you want to check out the dockets you can do so at the MMO Fallout Google Drive. If you’re hoping that this lawsuit doesn’t end up in a settlement, I would probably curb your expectations now. Especially with the insurance company taking over negotiations.

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