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Friday, July 18, 2008
Contact: Bob Brammer, 515-281-6699

State settling with more TouchPlay litigants

Statement of the Iowa Attorney Generalís Office, July 18, 2008:

The Attorney General’s Office told Polk County District Court Judge Donna Paulsen Friday afternoon that a tentative settlement had been reached with 32 of 33 TouchPlay machine operators who are Plaintiffs in the Siggins, et al., lawsuit vs. the State of Iowa.

The tentative agreement reported to the Court, which must be approved by the Iowa Appeal Board, provides for a payment of approximately $8.9 million to the 32 TouchPlay operators who agreed to settle.

Attorney General Tom Miller said: “The tentative settlement does not take care of all plaintiffs in this litigation, but it does take care of a very large percentage of the remaining cases and claims against the State. We believe the settlement is consistent with the issues raised in the case, and the risks or exposure to the State posed by the litigation. We also think the amount of the settlement is consistent with dealing fairly with TouchPlay operators who lost money in a program that transferred approximately $30 million to the State’s general fund. The parties to this tentative settlement participated in extensive negotiations, including mediation, and were able to come to a settlement of all claims.”

The tentative settlement includes 32 of 33 TouchPlay operators in the Siggins case. The Attorney General’s office hopes to resolve issues with the remaining operator. The Court heard arguments Friday afternoon on the State’s Motion for Summary Judgment with respect to the other remaining plaintiffs. Trial remains set for September 8, 2008.

The settlements approved to date total about $15.5 million ($6.6 million previously, and $8.9 million in this tentative settlement. The State general fund received about $30 million from the TouchPlay program. The Attorney General’s Office estimated the settlements and tentative settlement reached so far involve more than 80 percent of the more-than 7300 machines deployed in the TouchPlay program

The tentative agreement with the 32 TouchPlay operators also contemplates the Lottery dismissing its counterclaims against certain of the plaintiffs for $1,065,252.65, subject to approval by the Iowa Lottery Board. The operators also received debt forgiveness from G.A.D. as a result of a previous state settlement with G.A.D.

As part of the tentative settlement agreement, the plaintiffs acknowledge the state’s denial of liability and that the settlement does not constitute any admission of liability or wrongdoing.

Go to:  TouchPlay litigation chronology and summary up to the present tentative settlement (as of July 9, 2008.)

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