The Honorable Amy Clark Meachum, judge of the 201st Judicial District Court in Austin, held a hearing today on GTECH’s No Evidence Motion for Partial Summary Judgment.
GTECH Corporation (n/k/a IGT Global Solutions Corporation) was sued by hundreds of Texas Lottery players. The players allege that GTECH designed and printed instructions on the Fun 5’s scratch-off tickets that misled the players into believing that they would win a prize if their tickets revealed a Money Bag symbol. As originally designed by GTECH, all tickets with a Money Bag symbol were supposed to win a prize. However, at the request of the Texas Lottery Commission, GTECH changed the game to include Money Bag symbols on both winning tickets and non-winning tickets. However, GTECH made the decision that it would not change the wording of the instructions which promised a prize for all tickets with a Money Bag symbol. As a result, hundreds of players believed they had winning tickets based on the wording of the instructions chosen by GTECH but their tickets were not winners.
The players sued GTECH alleging both common-law fraud and fraud by non-disclosure. GTECH recently filed a motion alleging that the players could not sue for fraud by non-disclosure because there was no fiduciary relationship between GTECH and the players. The players filed a response alleging that there were three exceptions to the rule requiring that there be a fiduciary or special relationship.
Judge Meachum heard arguments of counsel for both sides today and announced that she would review the motion, the response, and the summary judgment evidence and that she would hand down a ruling in July. A copy of her ruling will be posted on this blog site as soon as it is released. The motion covers only the claims for fraud by non-disclosure and does not affect the players’ claims for common law fraud.
The first “bellwether” trial for eight representative plaintiffs is scheduled to begin on January 24, 2022. The second bellwether trial is scheduled to begin three months later on April 25, 2022.