On May 3, 2014, a birthday cake delivered to a Seattle-area apartment complex was decorated with a floral design that made its way onto social media.
The decor had the name “Treyarch” and the message, “Happy Birthday, I Love You” emblazoned in gold lettering on the front.
When the cake arrived at the home of a 16-year-old girl who has been battling a serious gaming addiction for years, she was furious.
In a lawsuit filed on June 6, 2015, a Washington woman named Evelyn A. O’Brien alleges that she suffered “substantial emotional distress and emotional distress, including fear, humiliation, humiliation and anxiety” after the birthday card arrived.
Her father, who owns the apartment complex, also says that he “felt threatened and humiliated” after receiving the birthday cards.
In an affidavit filed June 9 in federal court in Seattle, the teen’s attorney, Lisa McAlister, says that she and her father were aware that the cake was a birthday gift for the teen and that her mother “had given it to Evelyn and she had never received it.”
McAlister says that the girl had previously received a birthday card for her father and that she was not upset that the card had been made out of flowers.
“I don’t think anyone in Evelyn’s life knew what was going on,” she said.
“There were no words.”
The girl, who has a history of depression and anxiety, was “unable to function,” according to the complaint.
She filed a police report with the King County Sheriff’s Office and an attorney for the sheriff’s office told ABC News that the investigation was ongoing and that no charges had been filed.
McAlisters lawsuit alleges that the teen had been addicted to video games since the age of 13, but that the amount of time she has been playing the games is unknown.
In court filings, her father said that he has been trying to get his daughter help for years.
“She has been on medications for many years, and it has been a constant struggle for her,” the father said.
The lawsuit alleges the girl was treated for depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder at various times throughout her life.
In one of the documents filed by McAlisters attorney, the court records state that Evelyn is receiving treatment from a mental health counselor at the King State University Center for Youth in the Rehabilitation of Addiction.
The mother’s attorney also wrote in the affidavit that the daughter’s father had been prescribed antidepressants for his daughter for about a year and a half, and that he was “in and out of treatment.”
McAuliffe, who is represented by the King Family Law Group, said that the family was not aware of any issues with her daughter’s gaming habits.
“The court was never told of the issues,” he said.
McAMalley, who lives in the Washington, D.C., suburb of Seattle, is seeking unspecified monetary damages.
The court papers also state that the lawsuit is based on a claim for negligent infliction of emotional distress.
The Washington Post has reached out to the family for comment.