Print 37 comment(s) - last by ElFenix.. on Jun 3 at 3:20 PM

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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I'd pay if I were Microsoft
By Sylar on 5/25/2007 8:26:55 AM , Rating: 1
Wow, this is like the first time I've seen a lawsuit of this magnitude claiming such a small amount in damages. If I were Microsoft, I'd just pay it. Just split it 3 ways between MS, Walmart, & the third co-defendant and it'd be about 17k each.

RE: I'd pay if I were Microsoft
By psypher on 5/25/2007 10:41:34 AM , Rating: 2
they can't just pay it without going through the motions of responding to the lawsuit. If they concede that they actually did anything wrong, or the cost of trying the case is more than $50,000, they will settle. Otherwise, just handing over the money would be microsoft and walmart telling the thousands of people that file frivolous lawsuits to line up and collect. Basically, they have to throw their legal team's weight against this to keep the number of nuisance suits down.

RE: I'd pay if I were Microsoft
By tacorly on 5/25/2007 9:19:12 PM , Rating: 2
Man, everytime i read a good point I read a good counterpoint.

You guys am smart.

RE: I'd pay if I were Microsoft
By Kenenniah on 5/30/2007 6:11:30 PM , Rating: 2
Except that you could structure such a settlement without admission of guilt and with a NDA (non-disclosure agreement), which would create no legal precedent for further suits.

RE: I'd pay if I were Microsoft
By ElFenix on 6/3/2007 3:20:55 PM , Rating: 2
plaintiffs aren't bound by the damages claimed in their pleadings. plaintiff would want far more than $50,000 to settle, i guarantee you. if MS and the other defendants didn't bother fighting it because the fees are so high, plaintiff could then put on evidence of its damages unchallenged, resulting in a big judgment against MS and friends.

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