A Washington state judge has awarded a $489,000 default judgment to a West Virginia man who continued a campaign of harassment. Destiny 2 community manager. Beyond the direct victory for Bungie and the employee, the case sets a new precedent for companies seeking to recoup costs involved in similar employee abuse.
The judge’s orderthat shared by paralegal Kathryn Tewson (who was involved in the case), describes what Tewson calls “developmental behavior” of one writer Jesse James Comer, who was “enraged” after an anonymous Bungie team manager promoted artwork by a black artist. Comer then continued with a campaign of what the court described as “carpet bombing” the community manager with documents and “hidden words,” including several requests “to make choices in his game where only people of color can be killed.”
The harassment escalated to Comer sending an “unedible, disgusting pizza” to the target’s address, a “pizza-like threat” that left the manager and their family “justifiably afraid … and they knew where they lived.
Creating a new rule
Comer apparently did not respond to the lawsuit, which resulted in an open-and-shut indictment and a ban on violations of Washington’s laws on cyberstalking, phone harassment, invasion of privacy, and “disruption.” But interestingly, the judge in the case also found Comer financially responsible for disrupting Bungie’s “bargaining agreement” with its employees, as well as a serious violation of the Consumer Protection Act.
Comer’s smear campaign cost Bungie more than $380,000 in investigative fees, “substantial protection” for the affected area manager, and the employee lost his job while the employee “had to take time off and limit social interaction. Destiny 2 fans.” The company was also “obliged to protect other existing and potential new employees from similar harassment campaigns” and “coordinated work among its community managers to address the causes of harassment,” according to the decision.
Since Comer is liable to Bungie for the money, as well as more than $80,000 in lawsuits and $25,000 in statutory damages, the court also laid the groundwork for a “new legal threat” that paves the way for other companies to do the same. . As Tewson explains in his Twitter thread, “The court has created a way for those who have assets to identify criminals who are constantly killing people and hold them accountable to do exactly that and return their money to the court.”
Attorney DM Schmeyer, who called the case “the best legal case I’ve ever worked on”. the title of the tweetadded “a push to the heart of digital people who do real harm and believe themselves above responsibility, beyond accountability. You are not.”
This is not the first time Bungie has gone to court to protect its employees from harassment. Last year, the company prosecuted the fraudster Luca Leone who threatened and taunted Bungie employees as they repeatedly dodged attempts to ban the game. That case he continues to fail to go to court instead of linking information and displays.