The U.S. Supreme Court will take on Xbox 360 game disc-scratching lawsuit

The nine judges on the U.S. Supreme Court will take on a long-running lawsuit centering on Microsoft's Xbox 360. The judges have agreed to consider Microsoft's quest to dismiss the class action lawsuit, which claims that a flaw in the Xbox 360 caused game discs to be scratched by its disc drive, making them unplayable.

The lawsuit was first filed in 2008, but Microsoft claimed that only a small 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. In 2012, the lawsuit was dismissed by U.S District Judge Ricardo Martinez in Seattle, who ruled there were not enough complaints to warrant a class-action lawsuit.

However, in March 2015, the lawsuit was revived by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Seattle, who said that Judge Martinez made an improper ruling. The appeal judges stated he should have ruled based on if the console may have had a defect and, if so, if that issue violated its warranty.

According to Reuters, it will be the appeals court ruling that will serve as the basis for the U.S. Supreme Court case:

"The court will review a March 2015 ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on the question of whether a lower court decision denying class certification to the plaintiffs could be challenged."

There's no word on when the case will be presented to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Source: Reuters

John Callaham
  • It was widely known to not move the 360 when a disc was in use. There was also a flaw in the Xbox 360 that made it not work after tossed from a catapult.
  • It should be widely known to not move ANYTHING with a spinning disc inside.
  • I could jog with my portable CD player with built-in anti-skip.....while the disc was spinning inside. Truth with /s
  • Right, but that wasn't a disc tray device and it was designed to be moved while in use. The 360 was not.
  • A small portable CD player that you run with is something, and a giant block gaming console is something else
  • yeah.. but in both cases the cd drive was the faulty unit .. in that case not really so much of a different
  • This. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Remember, coffee isn't supposed to be hot unless it says on the packaging!
  • Same will happen with a CD player and DVD player...but because of stupidity!
  • My old discman would disagree. Although that being said there is no reason for anti skip tech in a game console.
  • The portable disc player holds the disc firmly in place while the console and others do not. Similar to how laptops hold the disc the portable players do the same.
  • Incorrect. The catapult tossing didn't begin until one's console became afflicted with the much feared RRoD.
  • Haha yep, I moved mine a long time ago and I learned quick. It scratched my disc. I realized it was my fault and I haven't done it again. Are people just money hungry to go after them?
  • The drive didn't have to be in motion.  I left a disc in the drive when I carried the console from one room to another, which obviously meant the console was unplugged and the drive was not in use.  It ruined the disc, and I ended up spending money on a replacement copy.  This wouldn't have been an issue for most other devices with disc drives, so don't act like it's as obvious a no-no as shooting the console from a catapult.  That said, even though I was pretty annoyed at the time I don't think Microsoft needs to reimburse me.  In my opinion we push liability issues like this way too far.
  • Not this **** again!
  • this is well known, just read the instructions....
  • This has got to be one of the stupidest, most moronic lawsuits ever... Posted with the Nexus 6, Nexus 5, or Surface Pro 3
  • Agreed!
  • No its not. The stupidest one was where Redbull got sued because it did not give wings to its drinker. And the amazing part is the one who sued won!
  • They're called the Plaintiff... ;p
  • Your words are too damn big!
  • 2nd most moronic, only behind the woman who poured McDonalds coffee on herself, and then sued because it was hot.
  • this should help understand how the lawsuit was not as moronic as many people think.
  • Actually what happened is the coffee was so hot that it melted the styrofoam cup. I've heard that the reason McDonald's coffee used to be so hot was to hide the real flavor of it.
  • Oh McDonald's too? I heard one dude won against Dunkin Donuts. He (accidentally) spilled coffee on himself and (back then) the cup didn't have "Hot!" sing. So, he sued them :))
  • Never heard about that one.
  • No, that situation was incredibly bad (I've seen the photos of the surgery, not pretty) and McDonalds was completely at fault.
  • Idiot, she sued because it was over 200 degrees, and caused burns that required multiple skin grafts, and when she approached mcdonalds to just pay her hospital bill, they told her to shove off. The documentary is on HBO Go. Go learn something. It's called Hot Coffee.
  • Its a legitimate lawsuit/complaint. If a disc was heavily used and the console was laying on its side or standing up, over time the disc would become unreadable or unable to fetch certain partitions of data on the disc due to the drive wearing on the disc overtime. I had it happen with BF3. After around 6 months of playing the same game, it would start telling me the disc was unreadable and i would have to reboot the Xbox a few times. It came to a point where I had to buy another copy all together.
  • Same happened to me, but with BO2. I know I should play BF instead :)
  • Yup, I've got a copy of Madden with a groove worn into it in storage somewhere. Console was always horizontal on a stable platform. Also, they heavily marketed it in the vertical position with plenty of pics and vids out there to prove it.
  • My first 360 would scratch concentric circles in a disc. It didn't happen often and I didn't move the console at all. I called MS support. They gave me crap for a few minutes. But as soon as I gave them my serial number they offered to repair it for free. Never happened again on any of my 360s
  • That's odd, it might have been a certain batch of them instead of an overall thing. I have played black ops 2 for too many hours for me to be proud of, and its fine.
  • Lol, they pretend Microsoft never swapped disc drives to avoid scratches. And who moves their console while playing anyways.... Only idiots do.
  • A version with a rubber stopper was added, only after people were stupid enough to move it while it was on.
  • They put the piece of rubber there to better secure the disc in place. The disc drives they were initially using allowed the discs to wobble and oscillate too much which is what caused all the scratching and cracking of games. It had nothing to do with moving the console. Companies have risk assessment teams that look at this very thing and decide whether or not it's cost feasible to bother fixing. This is akin to an automaker having their cars kill drivers because their advisors calculated that it's cheaper to pay a settlement to people injured and killed (or those that bother can sue) rather than issue a recall to install a part costing them $0.40 in all their cars to save lives
  • Hey, eliteChihuahua, a small number of 360s would scratch the disc without being moved. I owned one. MS repaired it for free when I called them.
  • I've never had a disc scratched by my 360, and I had it standing up and on its side. You'd think it was a question of basic engineering, to make not scratching the discs a priority. But if you move the console while the disc is spinning, the manual says it will get scratched
  • If it must be moved, it should be full stop in the off position... =p
  • Well I could never have my orig 360 standing up because it would scratch every game. So it always laid down.
  • Some were a result of shoddy engineering as the launch systems used 3 or 4 different varients of disc drives from manufacturers like Toshiba or BenQ for example. Speaking from experience you will hear a bad drive because playing with a disc would sound like a low-pitched buzz saw from the disc spinning in poor balance
  • For real now? This is still going on. Cmom, this is so stupid.
  • The only time I've seen a disc rendered unreadable, was from moving it when it was spinning :'( otherwise I've never experienced it personally, neither have family or friends :)
  • When courts will go after apple and google for their violations of antitrust laws?
  • When there's somebody bringing a law suit against them.
  • Uhm, Courts don't go after anyone.  Someone has to file a lawsuit and bring it to the Courts.
  • This isn't probably going to be a Supreme Court fight. The Supreme Court might just decide if the lower court shall continue with the court hearing and send the case back to lower court.
  • Kind of hard to scratch discs when the consoles were out-of-action from RRoD, which is what I was complaining to them about at the time, lol!
  • Good. I've had 3 scratched discs from my old 360, which had literally never been moved from the spot that was in for 4 years. I'd simply be playing, then the screen would go blank. I'd get up and take the disc out and it'd have a perfect round scratch on the back. I'm glad that this is happening.
  • And you never thought to send the console to MS to have it repaired? Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • It was in the book that came with the system DONT MOVE WHEN ON. its that easy
  • Some people have had it happen for no reason.
  • Oops, you dumb. Some consoles had this happen without being moved.
  • It's not. Never moved mine. Discs scratched.
  • After the RRoD & e74 debacle, I think their defense should be taken with a grain of salt by anyone and it's scummy for MS to blame the consumer. I will attest that I had at least 2 360s that scratched the hell out of discs, my launch console being the worst of the 2 - once even cracking a game from the center ring outward. Not once had I ever stood it vertically and not once had I ever moved it while operating. I had to repurchase well over a dozen games because of it.  I owned all the consoles and took care of them well - my launch PS2 from Japan along with any other console I own still runs and all the games I bought new on PSX, PS2, Xbox, etc, etc, etc still looked practically unblemished...all except 360. That was the only system I have beat-up games for and the only console I had to repurchase 6 or 7 times because they all kept breaking down due to Microsoft's quality control issues
  • Lol. I had the issue too. But getting the disc resufaced only costs a couple bucks. Don't buy a whole new one!
  • Yeah, good luck resurfacing a disk with a crack "from the center ring outward".
  • Scratching Disk may be true because my 9 out of 26 disks no longer usable...some of them stopped working withing one or two months of purchase...
  • I hope your juggling skills did improve at least.
  • Wow, there have been a number of versions / editions of the Xbox 360 and the article and comments don't mention this fact. Which ones are claimed to be affected? Does anyone know?
  • After owning every model, from my experience it was the earliest ones from around launch that did it the worst. Only bother worrying if you have one of the fat ones that still had removable faceplates and the snap on HDD.
  • Thought it was a smart move to get a new game consol before the warranty is out ?
  • 9th circuit. We shouldn't really be surprised. They are the standard bearer of these stories.
  • this never happened to me because I would hold the controller while playing and not the console
  • Haha, Your comment actually made me laugh.
  • I think the scratching is due to the windows phone in this articles photo. Why is a phone in the picture of an story about Xbox 360?
  • Gaaaawd!! Really!! Fkn waste of time and money!!!!
  • I remember when I accidentally bumped my 360 with NBA2k13 inside. The game was a week old, scratched and unplayable. I went out the next day and bought a second copy. That's what a reasonable person does, but according to the courts I guess I should have sued Microsoft instead, because it was totally their fault...
  • I had this problem th noticed my son was sitting his xbox on the jacket or whatever happened to be in a way. The variation of of surface caused the Xbox to not be level and scratched the discs pretty bad. Is this a design flaw? No this was a not us it correctly flaw. I simply educated my son that it should be level. Guess what? Never had an issue again.
  • All of you who are taking blame for a design flaw should be flogged. You're some of the same people who won't accept the missing features and bugs in windows mobile, but readily defend a Steve Balmer led Microsoft product from before Vista, AND Windows 7.5/8.0, as impossible, that the product was flawed. My 360 cut grooves in one disc, to the point of unplayability. It put lighter circles on many more. I never complained to the company but I also never moved my 360. In fact, the game that was destroyed was a Kinect game, and my 360 is in the basement with a concrete floor, so incidental vibration, or anything like that is ruled out. I swear these have been some of the least sensible comments I've ever read anywhere. I guess the clipboard button, and other issues with he Surface Book, and SP4, are user caused to, with some of the (Il)logical analysis, of some commenters here... They're just holding it wrong, huh?
  • lmao really not be moved so u have dogs cats small kids accidents hppen corded controler i had an arcade every time dog cat knocked into my tv case it would scratch a disc i finaly throw it aginst the wall bought a ps3 and never looked back i hope they get sued crappy craftsmanship