Civil Lawsuits

"Add violence incitement to the list of liabilities entertainment and media companies face. The media has traditionally been held liable for risks such as libel, invasion of privacy, and copyright and trademark infringement. Now, they may be held liable for bodily injury as a result of the content they publish due to claims of inciting violence.

"Anything from movies to books to video games have been fingered as inciting or encouraging an individual to commit a violent act. Any media or entertainment company producing content with elements of violence is vulnerable. But the most vulnerable, as is evidenced by recent lawsuits, seem to be motion picture companies and video game manufacturers that sell products that seemingly glorify violence."

So reads an article in the November 1999 issue of Risk & Insurance magazine. Shareholders would do well to pay attention to this because litigation has become as American as apple pie. It's what they do, and the awards American juries hand out can be crippling. For a Canadian take on this strategy, see the Canadian lawsuit forum section.