A class action lawsuit filed against Microsoft over a hardware flaw in the Xbox 360 was revived Wedneday. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Seattle overturned a lower court ruling that said owners of the console could not sue Mircrosoft over a defect that might cause the Xbox 360's disc drive to scratch game discs.
Microsoft claims that only a tiny fraction of Xbox 360 owners reported the scratches caused by the disc drive, and they were due to the owners moving the console while the drive was in motion. The lawsuit was first filed in 2008 but it was dismissed in 2012 by U.S District Judge Ricardo Martinez in Seattle. He ruled at the time there were not enough complaints to warrant a class-action lawsuit.
However, Wednesday's ruling by the appeals court said Judge Martinez was in error. According to Reuters:
"Plaintiffs' breach of express warranty claim presents a common factual question-is there a defect?-and a common mixed question of law and fact-does that defect breach the express warranty?" Circuit Judge Johnnie Rawlinson wrote for the appeals court. "The district court erred in finding that individual issues of causation predominate over these common questions."
The case has now been returned to Judge Martinez for further debate. The lawyer for the plaintiffs, Benjamin Gould, stated they were pleased with the appeals court's decision but a statement from a Microsoft spokesperson said, "We've won in the lower court previously and believe the facts are on our side,"