Sony, Take Two may be sued over deaths

The family of a man killed by teenagers in Tennessee plans to file lawsuits against Sony and Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. within a month, accusing them of being responsible for his death, according to attorney Jack Thompson.

On June 25, two half-brothers aged 16 and 14 used a 0.22 calibre rifle to shoot at traffic on Interstate 40, Tennessee, killing nurse Aaron Hamel and wounding a woman in another car, according to the local newspaper, the Knoxville News Sentinel. IDG New Service is withholding the brothers' names because the pair are minors.

The teenagers told the Sentinel they got the idea for the shooting from the video game Grand Theft Auto (GTA). Rockstar Games, the publishing division of Take-Two, produced GTA. The brothers were sentenced on Aug. 28 to an indeterminate period of detention in the custody of the Tennessee Department of Children's Services, the paper said.

"This is going to get a lot more interesting now. We're going to sue Sony and Take-Two, and hold them responsible for the death and wounding," Thompson said on Monday. Thompson runs an antiviolent games Web site at and represents the Hamel family.

"There's no question that (GTA) was being copycatted," Thompson said . "The police concluded it and the boys themselves said it."

A news conference will be held in Knoxville when the suit is filed at Cocke Country Court, Thompson said.

Rockstar Games spokesman Jeff Castaneda said last Friday that the company was not able to comment on any possible lawsuits.

GTA is rated Mature, or 17+, in the U.S., according to the U.S. Entertainment Software Rating Board's Web site. The ratings are given to help parents decide what their children can play, the site says.

In the U.K. the game was one of the few to be referred to the British Board of Film Classification, Laurie Hall, secretary general of the U.K. Video Standards Council said last week.

The classification system in the U.S. is entirely voluntary for games companies, he said. "Generally games in the U.K. are classified voluntarily too, but about 5 percent lose that exemption -- in this case because of 'gross violence,' and it was rated for over 18s," Hall said. It is therefore an offense to supply GTA to anyone under 18 in the U.K., he said.

However, Hall stressed that there is no evidence of video games causing real crime. "There have been a lot of cases like this, where people sue, but they've always come to nothing," he said.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Gillian Law

IDG News Service
Show Comments


James Cook University - Master of Data Science Online Course

Learn more >


Victorinox Werks Professional Executive 17 Laptop Case

Learn more >

Sansai 6-Outlet Power Board + 4-Port USB Charging Station

Learn more >



Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?