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Xbox 360 Disc Scratching Issue May take Microsoft to the Supreme Court

by Kyle Hanson

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Microsoft can’t seem to shake the design issues with the Xbox 360. We’ve seen the “Red Ring of Death”, which apparently cost Microsoft over a billion dollars, and now there is the disc scratching problem, whose class action lawsuit has been moved forward by an appeals court.

The case is all about the Xbox 360’s disc drive, which could scratch games, making them unplayable. Microsoft’s counter to this claim was that users were operating the system incorrectly at the time of the incident, mostly by moving the console with a disc spinning in the tray.

However, the courts feel that the case is worthy of some merit, setting the stage for either full blown litigation, or a run through the Supreme Court to determine the viability of the case. Microsoft had been trying to get the case dismissed by citing the precedent of Kenneth Gable and Brian Wolin vs Land Rover, which involved vehicles that caused premature tire wear.

In yesterday’s ruling though, “Judge Martinez concluded that the presumption had not been rebutted because the Gable/Wolin Land Rover litigation was distinguishable from the scratched disc litigation,” to quote the court document via Arstechnica.

The main point seems to be that “although individual factors may affect the timing and extent of the disc scratching, they do not affect whether the Xboxes were sold with a defective disc system. Plaintiffs contend that (1) whether the Xbox is defectively designed and (2) whether such design defect breaches an express or an implied warranty are both issues
capable of common proof.”

All of this means that the case can continue, so what will happen from here is up to Microsoft, the lawyers, and the courts. Keep checking back for updates as the case develops.

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