Hearing Held to Determine if Maker of Texas Lotto Can Face Lawsuit

AUSTIN—More than 1,100 Texas lottery players are suing GTECH, the maker of one of the games' tickets, claiming they have been cheated of their deserved winnings.

After scratching the "Fun 5's" lottery ticket, many say they're owed thousands of dollars in winnings. Now, they're suing G-Tech, the printer of the ticket, for more than $500 million.

“What the printer of the ticket wants to do is blame the lottery commission for it, and the lottery commission has sovereign immunity,” said the plaintiff’s attorney Manfred Sternberg.

The plaintiffs have already tried suing the Texas Lottery Commission, but because it's a state agency, it can't be sued. Thursday's hearing was a matter of whether that same sovereign immunity applies to G-Tech.

“The government has sovereign immunity, but you don’t have sovereign immunity just because you contracted with the state,” Sternberg said.

G-Tech's attorney says the company is not at fault because the design on the ticket was not G-Tech's original design.

“The lottery commission made changes to that design, so that the final design of the ticket was not the design that G-Tech had submitted,” said defense attorney Kenneth Broughton.

He also said the plaintiffs have not suffered damages, and the language on the ticket was not misleading.

 “Because there’s a period at the end and there’s two sentences - two ways to win. If they wanted to conjoin those sentences, they should have put an ‘and’ or an ‘and also.’,” said Sternberg.

A decision is expected to come in the next week. Attorneys on both sides say whichever way the decision goes, it will likely be appealed.