Man Sues VR Headset and Game Manufacturers After Suffering Seizure

In a pro se complaint filed in federal court in Chicago, Illinois, an Indian man claimed that Samsung Electronics America, Inc. Microsoft Corporation, Facebook Inc., and Valve Corporation failed to disclose the health risks associated with the use of their virtual reality (VR) headsets. The accusations arose from the man’s personal experience with a VR video game, which he claimed caused him to experience a seizure that reportedly changed his life.

The personal injury filing alleged that in September 2019, that the 54-year-old foreign national was visiting relatives in Chicago, Illinois. He tried VR for the first time, and the next day while visiting the city’s zoo suffered his first-ever seizure. Thereafter, the man was hospitalized and  prescribed medication that he claims renders him lethargic and unable to focus.

The complaint essentially accused the defendants, reportedly manufacturers of VR headsets and games, of intentionally suppressing health-related warnings associated with the use of their VR products such as seizures, neurological problems, and permanent eye damage. The complaint pointed to research the plaintiff conducted himself showing that although statistical and other information was available to these companies, their warning labels were deficient.

Though the complaint cited no specific law, it referenced negligence. The man asked that court compel the defendants to disclose and keep up to date health-related warnings on their VR product labels. In addition, he asked for the damages to cover the costs of his medical bills stemming from his hospitalization and an additional $5,000,000 in view of his “suffering and irreparable loss.”