Bungie wins $400,000 lawsuit against Destiny 2 player who harassed the company’s community manager

Bungie has won a lawsuit for more than $400,000 against a Destiny 2 player who harassed and threatened the company’s community manager. This sets a precedent for countering similar player behavior in the future. This was reported on Twitter by Kathryn Tewson, who participated in the process on Bungie side.

First, Bungie, with the help of professional investigators, identified the player who threatened a company employee, and then filed a complaint in King County Superior Court to hold the offender responsible for the damages Bungie suffered due to his sociopathic behavior.

The infringer, identified as Jesse James Comer, failed to appear in court, so on July 12, 2023, the court granted Bungie’s motion for default judgment, ordering the infringer to pay $405,189.22 in damages to Bungie, plus legal and related costs expenses of $84,246.30, so a total of almost $500K. The court order has already been signed.

The decision provided principled formal judicial recognition of the threat and harm caused by a well-documented pattern of escalating harassment that can end in tragedy through the calling of the police or other real-world violence.

“Mr. Comer’s activity of bombarding the Bungie Community Manager with threats, voicemails, etc. was no mere prank. Online harassment follows a predictable pattern in which a harasser will escalate from doxing – obtaining the target’s personal information in order to abuse them in real life – to contact, through to physical violence against the target,” this is also stated in the court’s decision.

The second principle decision is the court’s finding that when an employee is harassed because of their work, it also damages the employer, and the employer can seek damages in a civil court. This is important because the workers themselves do not have the ability, and sometimes simply do not want to deal with lawsuits, so the employer can take it on.

In addition, the court, based on the Criminal Code of the State of Washington, recognized a new type of offense – cyber and telephone harassment. With this decision, the court created a path for those with the resources to identify online stalkers and bring them to justice. Damages are compensated according to standard offenses such as invasion of privacy.