Nearly $13 Million in Settlement and Attorneys Fees for Legal Cases Gets Senate Nod
Settlements and fees amounting to $13 million in legal disputes which have been lost by the state, including almost $1 million in court-ordered attorneys’ fees in the successful challenge by the Entertainment Merchants Association of a California law banning violent video games’ sale to minors.
The U.S. Supreme Court, in its ruling last year, sided with the industry group in its attempt to stop the ban on the sale of violent video games, upholding the decisions made by the federal and appellate courts. The law’s critics argued that the ban is a violation on their First Amendment right to free speech. The bill was passed by the state Legislature and was signed into law in 2005 by then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
The current legislation, Senate Bill 730, had bipartisan support and was approved in an overwhelming majority vote of 32 to 5.
Senate Bill 730 also gave a go for settlement amounting to $4.23 million in a lawsuit between the state’s former student loan guarantor, EdFund, and a Mather business park office complex. The appropriation bill also gave the green light for two payments amounting to $5.5 million in cases against the Department of Fish and Game, and the Department of Forestry, as well as a $1.5 million settlement in a case against the Department of Parks and Recreation, which was filed by a man who had been hit by a falling tree at the Los Banos Creek Reservoir in Merced County.
The appropriation bill must be approved by the Assembly before it is forwarded to Gov. jerry Brown for consideration.