The console wars continue to rage on as a class action lawsuit surrounding the Xbox 360's alleged defect was heard by the Supreme Court.
The United States Supreme Court has announced that it will hear appeal over a class action lawsuit surrounding claims that the company’s Xbox 360 gaming console was deliberately sold with a defect that damaged discs. According to a report from the Tech Times, the Supreme Court has announced that it will review a ruling handed up by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in March 2015.
At issue is whether or not the plaintiffs in the case are allowed to challenge the lower court’s ruling to deny the group a class certification.
Plaintiffs in the case allege that the Xbox 360 was knowingly sold with a faulty disc drive, which was thrown out of balance by even the slightest vibrations. The fault led to a large number of game discs spinning off axis and sustaining irreparable damage.
Microsoft, on the other hand, doesn’t believe that the plaintiffs have a right to class certification. They claim that only a small percentage of Xbox 360 owners reported the faulty disc drive issue, and those who did were likely responsible for any damage to their own discs.
While it remains the job of the court to decide who was really at fault in the Xbox 360 situation, Microsoft is treating the case as an opportunity to set a stronger precedent for establishing class certification. As the tech company sees it, lax class action procedures place a heavy burden on firms to settle out of court, which could lead to increasingly frivolous cases.
Class action lawsuits can provide relief for consumers who were wronged by a deceitful business, but the line for what constitutes wrongdoing has been hotly debated for quite some time. A strong precedent must be set to deter abuse of the legal system, but laws should still allow for consumers to seek damages for faulty and potentially dangerous products.
Background information on the case of Microsoft Corp. vs. Baker can be found here.