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The Xbox replacement cords issued in early 2005 were considerably beefier than the original cords, and emblazoned with multiple warning labels (Source:
Bereaved parents blame Microsoft, Wal-Mart for a deadly house fire that claimed an infant's life

An Illinois lawsuit alleges that Microsoft and mega-retailer Wal-Mart are at fault for a fire sparked by a faulty Xbox 360 power cord. The suit was filed in December 2006 by the family of Wade Kline, a baby who perished in the accident.

The case came to light this week when Wal-Mart filed a motion to move the proceedings from a state court to a federal jurisdiction. Along with Microsoft and Wal-Mart, an unnamed power-supply maker is also named as a codefendant. The Kline family is seeking in excess of $50,000 in damages for the fire that destroyed their Warsaw, Ill., home.

The lawsuit alleges an overheated electrical supply line for an Xbox 360 sparked the blaze, according to an article in InformationWeek, however the suit claims the fire occurred in late 2004. The magazine concludes that the product involved must have been a first-generation Xbox (not Xbox 360) unit.

Microsoft recalled 14 million Xbox power cords because of potential fire hazards in February 2005, about two months after the Warsaw fire occurred.

In a statement released by Microsoft, the company expressed sympathy for the family, "However, we are not aware of any evidence that an Xbox caused the fire."

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RE: I doubt it was MS's fault
By Griswold on 5/25/2007 5:05:52 AM , Rating: 5
Perhaps they dont believe in measuring life in dollars and just want compensation for their material loss.

RE: I doubt it was MS's fault
By MDE on 5/25/2007 5:58:12 AM , Rating: 1
I'd imagine most people have more than $50,000 in losses after a home fire, especially if it's a house. If they had insurance then most everything should be covered by that though, so they'd be suing for loss of life, pain and suffering, etc. I feel sorry for them but people are just too sue-happy today.

RE: I doubt it was MS's fault
By BMFPitt on 5/25/2007 8:59:20 AM , Rating: 4
There are millions of examples of sue happy people with frivolous claims, but this isn't one. At face value, this sounds like a valid case. Considering they are asking for next to nothing compared to what they could likely get (Or what Microsoft has paid for 72 minutes worth of daily government fines.) Microsoft, et al should be very thankful.

RE: I doubt it was MS's fault
By frobizzle on 5/31/2007 5:01:46 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed that this is one instance that is (probably) not a frivolous law suit. What I don't understand is that while Microsoft and the unnamed manufacturer of the power supply may be liable, where does Walmart's alleged liability come in here? Unless Walmart was fully aware of the potential danger and disregarded it, I do not see their culpability in this matter. Please do not construe this as liking or hating Walmart as I am ambivelent about them. However, if Walmart is found to be culpable in this suit, it raises a serious precedent; that being that any retailer can be sued for problems with any merchandise that all they do is sell. If that were the case, for example, virtually every grocery store and pet food store would facing countless law suits for the recent incidents of selling bad pet food.

RE: I doubt it was MS's fault
By Munkles on 5/25/2007 9:11:17 AM , Rating: 3

Unfortunatley insurance doesnt really cover NEARLY the cost of rebuilding let alone replacing the contents of your house. Back in 98 our house burned down so unfortunatley I intimately know the frustrations with this process. Basically as im sure you understand every single item has to be cataloged and then you get the depreciated value of the item from when you purchased it NOT the current market price so no adjustment for inflation. You also get something roughly the cost of the last appraisal of your home so if thats not up-to-date you could be out tens of thousands of dollars. They do NOT reimburse you for the new construction cost of your home.

So while its REALLy helpful... you insurance is a help, but you still end up many thousands of dollars further in debt to get everything rebuilt, and replaced.

RE: I doubt it was MS's fault
By PsYStuMmY on 5/25/07, Rating: -1
RE: I doubt it was MS's fault
By Sebec on 5/25/2007 2:22:48 PM , Rating: 4
The number one cause of death related to fires is smoke inhalation. Smoke inhalation injuries more likely killed the baby rather than burns, so the parents may have very been close by during the time of the fire, but weren't able to save their child in time from inhalation injury.

RE: I doubt it was MS's fault
By jcyeadon on 5/28/2007 3:20:10 PM , Rating: 3
still proof would be needed. Also the only blazes I recall hearing about that were linked to the xbox were in the UK I thought. I could be wrong there but still there are many potential causes for a fire and the cause of a fire can usually be determined by experts afterwards.

I hope that they do have evidence if it was a faulty power supply that caused the blaze. The amount requested shouldn't be judged because YES there are families that don't take every tragic event as a way to get rich. My family has passed on opportunities where we would have likely had easy wins in court because that just isn't how we roll.. wrong us and we become stronger money is just what you work for to pay bills. More money just means larger bills.

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