Australian gaming machines innovator, Aristocrat Leisure Limited, has announced the signing of an ‘agreement in principle’ that is to see it pay some $31 million so as to settle a pair of federal lawsuits brought against it in the western American state of Washington.
The Sydney-listed firm used an official Monday filing to detail that the legal actions relate to the Epic Diamond Slots, Big Fish Casino and Jackpot Magic Slots online social gaming platforms run by the Big Fish Games Incorporated concern it purchased from Churchill Downs Incorporated for $990 million in January of 2018.
Aristocrat Leisure Limited revealed that the lawsuits had been lodged by plaintiffs Manasa Thimmegowda, Cheryl Kater and Suzie Kelly in the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington amid allegations that the three aforementioned platforms had offered online games of chance prohibited under the laws of Washington. It used the filing (pdf) to proclaim that the petitioners had been seeking ‘a nationwide settlement class’ that was to involve the return of any lost monies alongside the payment of injunctive relief, legal fees and ‘treble and punitive damages.’
The Sydney-headquartered firm stated that the intended settlement follows mediation and is moreover due to involve Churchill Downs Incorporated forfeiting $124 million so as to release the pair ‘from any and all indemnity obligations arising from or relating to these two class-action lawsuits.’ It pronounced that the arrangement, which must now be approved by the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington, envisions placing the aggregate $155 million disbursement into a ‘settlement fund’ for use in satisfying the plaintiffs’ requests.
For its part and NASDAQ-listed Churchill Downs Incorporated used its own filing (pdf) to assert that the arrangement furthermore includes a clause that has seen Aristocrat Leisure Limited release it from subsequent ‘indemnification obligations’ related to this litigation encompassing ‘any claims of diminution of value of Big Fish Games Incorporated’ as well as demands that could be brought by anyone opting not to take part in the proposed class-action settlement.
“The parties have agreed to provide notice to the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington that the parties have reached a settlement in principle and to request that the cases be stayed pending execution and filing of a formal settlement agreement.”