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Scratched discs from the Xbox 360 (Source: The Consumerist)
Microsoft sued for its Xbox 360 making rings, but not of the red variety

On the heels of reports showing up to one-third of Xbox 360 consoles suffer a hardware failure, and the Microsoft action of extending the warranty to up to three years in cases of the Red Ring of Death, it is not at all surprising to learn that a class action lawsuit has been filed against the Redmond-based console maker.

The lawsuit is not for the dreaded Red Ring of Death, but rather for the console’s rare but nasty habit of scratching discs. As Joystiq reports, the lawsuit contends that the plaintiffs in the case "have been damaged in that their game discs were destroyed by the Xbox 360 during reasonable, foreseeable, normal, and intended use... The Xbox 360 was negligently designed and manufactured in that the Console's laser disc reading assembly contacts and scratches the video game discs during normal and intended operation and use."

The issue of the Xbox 360 scratching discs even when the console is unmoved first caught the attention or European consumer watchdogs after a special feature ran on Dutch TV show Kassa. At the time of the complaint, Microsoft said to 1UP, "We are working in an open dialogue with Commissioner Kuneva to clarify our position and all the efforts we are taking across the EU, and in fact globally, to address any consumer concerns. As we have said previously, there is no widespread issue regarding scratched discs as is alleged by Kassa. That said, we encourage any Xbox customer who believes that their discs have been scratched in the same manner as identified by Kassa, to contact us."

Microsoft’s statement continued, "We will examine the console and make appropriate repairs if necessary in order to restore the console to full working order, as well as provide customers with information on how to obtain replacement discs should they need them."

Filed in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. by Jorge Brouwer, a Broward County resident who bought an Xbox 360 in 2006, the lawsuit seeks five million dollars in damages for the scratched game discs. Microsoft has yet to respond.



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RE: What a fool
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 7/12/2007 9:37:34 AM , Rating: 2
TomZ, I would like to point out that while the Coffee was "excessively hot" according to the temperature. I seriously doubt you will find people crying about their Coffee being "too hot". If it's hot you let it sit in the cup holder for a few minutes while it cools off. It's really not a big deal.

The fact of the matter here, is that this lady was reckless in her posession of the coffee. She did not use a cup holder (which would have spared her from any burns), she put the damn thing between her legs WHILE DRIVING. Which causes distractions and possibly get her into an accident. Yea, so McDonald's serves coffee hot enough to scald you, so what? You don't have to drink it the second they hand it to you, you sure as hell don't need to stick it between your legs and spill it all over yourself.

To be honest, the whole trial was a circus. Consumer negligence and stupidity does not fly. What they basically ruled was that the Coffee would cause 3rd degree burns if spilled on ones self within the first 3 minutes of having it (It will cool rapidly once you get it), therefore McDonalds is at fault because they served something that when used in an incorrect manner can cause serious injury . No Shit?


RE: What a fool
By TomZ on 7/12/07, Rating: 0
RE: What a fool
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 7/12/07, Rating: -1
RE: What a fool
By dispo on 7/12/07, Rating: 0
RE: What a fool
By FITCamaro on 7/12/07, Rating: -1
RE: What a fool
By TomZ on 7/12/2007 12:27:32 PM , Rating: 1
She sued McDonald's only after they refused to pay her medical bills. If they had paid the medical bills, she wouldn't have sued them. I don't see any information anywhere that she is a "greedy bitch." Where did you get that from?


RE: What a fool
By sviola on 7/12/2007 12:51:01 PM , Rating: 2
I don't agree that McDonald's should be considered liable for her spilling coffee over her. After all, she wasn't holding the cup correctly and was driving at the same time. (and if the coffee was sold cold she would have complained about it).

But hey, there are worst cases, like the lady who sued the microwave oven manufacturers because there was no warning on the manual that she couldn't dry her cat in it as she used to do on the regular oven.


RE: What a fool
By TomZ on 7/12/2007 1:13:30 PM , Rating: 2
The jury didn't hold McDonald's liable for her spilling coffee on herself. They found McDonald's liable for serving their coffee at a dangerously hot temperature, some 20 degrees above the temperature other restaurants do, which creased a danger for the customers. McDonald's also knew about the problem, based on a large number of customer complaints, and completely ignored the problem. That's called negligence.


RE: What a fool
By Parhel on 7/12/2007 5:51:51 PM , Rating: 2
Any regular coffee drinker can vouch for that. McDonalds coffee was served at a ridiculously hot temperature until after that lawsuit came out. Coffee is supposed to be served hot, not boiling. McDonalds was at fault in that situation and refused to even respond to her until she took it to court.


RE: What a fool
By dosun on 7/12/2007 1:29:44 PM , Rating: 2
The lady was wearing sweatpants at the time, but that is irrelevant to the case. The coffee was hot enough to cause 3rd degree burns if it made contact with the skin. It didn't matter what part of the body it was. If she spilled it on her hand would you say she should have been wearing fireproof gloves?


RE: What a fool
By sviola on 7/12/2007 12:08:04 PM , Rating: 3
Reasonable people also don't drive with hot coffee between their legs.


RE: What a fool
By omnicronx on 7/12/07, Rating: -1
RE: What a fool
By sviola on 7/12/2007 12:44:27 PM , Rating: 2
That really brings the expression "fond of coffee" to a new level... :D


RE: What a fool
By rcc on 7/12/2007 12:53:03 PM , Rating: 3
and this makes you reasonable?


RE: What a fool
By timmiser on 7/12/2007 1:11:33 PM , Rating: 3
That is exactly the point.

Reasonable people shouldn't be driving and drinking hot coffee at the same time. Bumps happen. Those paper cups fail. Etc.

Or is it:

A reasonable resturant shouldn't serve extemely hot coffee to their drive thru customers because they know that events while driving can cause coffee to spill on the driver. The point is that the restuarant has to realize that with 90 billion served, someone, somewhere is going to spill it on themselves. They should know that and therefore they should make sure their coffee is at a temperature that will not cause serious burn injuries when this does happen.

The high dollar amount of the lawsuit is very necessary with these companies as a deterrent to make these restuarants take action to keep it from happening again.


RE: What a fool
By rcc on 7/13/2007 5:52:11 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, but then you lose the business of those people that wait til they get to the office to drink their coffee. Because by then it's cold. Or cool. Or just not warm enough.


RE: What a fool
By DN on 7/12/2007 1:39:26 PM , Rating: 1
At first, I was one of those people that thought this was the most ridiculous suit. However, over time and with a bit more thought, I came to realize what this suit was REALLY about:

"How hot is too hot?"

People do dumb things all the time, there is no question about it. Is this lady a dumbass for having placed a coffee between her legs as she drives? Yes. Is she guilty of this coffee having spilled on her? Yes, no doubt. However, should coffee be so hot that it seriously damages someone's body if and when an accident (stupid or not) happens? I think this is where you need to draw the line. Imagine that you didn't do anything as silly as this lady did, but a McDonald coffee ended up landing on your child for whatever reason, would you prefer that it was "hot" or "SCALDING" coffee to be in that cup? I think if any of us HAD to make that choice, it would be obvious what choice we would make. Put your finger in hot coffee, put your finger in SCALDING coffee, there's a BIG difference, you'd be surprised. So, as much as McDonald's IS NOT the reason for her stupidity, McDonald's IS responsible for the "amount" of the damage that occured due to how hot they kept their coffee and really, coffee doesn't need to be SCALDING to be enjoyable, even if you like your coffee "hot".


RE: What a fool
By archermoo on 7/12/2007 6:59:43 PM , Rating: 2
As a note, a few things to clear up here. Mrs. Liebeck wasn't driving the car. Her grandson was. And at the time she spilled the coffee he had stopped the car so she could add sugar and cream to it.

McDonalds refused an early settlement offer of $20,000 to cover her medical bills.

She was awarded $200,000 in compensatory damages, reduced to $160,000 because the injuries were deemed by the jury to be 20% her fault.

She was initially awarded $2.7 million in punative damages, which the judge later reduced to $480,000, for a total award of $640,000. But that isn't the final amount either. She and McDonalds came to an undisclosed out of court settlement rather than go through the appeals process. So no one really knows what she got out of it.

Check out http://www.stellaawards.com/stella.html.


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