Plaintiff's attorney Mallon sues computer tech co.

Steve Gonzalez Dec. 7, 2004, 7:46am

Wood River personal injury attorney Lance Mallon was so offended by a flaw in the tape drive system of his computer, he filed a consumer fraud class action lawsuit against California-based Seagate Technology, the world’s largest supplier of computer disc media.

"Seagate's misconduct offends public policy and is immoral, unethical, oppressive and unscrupulous," according to the complaint.

Nowhere in the complaint does it state that Mallon had any problems with his Seagate products. It states that Seagate knowingly, recklessly or negligently committed unfair and deceptive acts with respect to the true quality and capability of its product.

Mallon, represented by Timothy O’Sullivan of The Lakin Law Firm in Wood River, purchased a Seagate tape drive system, which stores, retrieves and manages data on computer systems that was built into his Gateway computer's server.

According to the complaint, the tape drive "contains an inherent flaw or defect in that it has an undisclosed failure rate approaching 50 to 70 percent.”

Mallon claims that had he known that the Seagate tape drive systems possessed an extremely high failure rate, he would not have purchased the system, or he would have negotiated a lower price.

Seagate’s tape drive products have been the subject of numerous complaints from consumers across the country because of faulty technology, according to the suit.

Mallon alleges that Seagate’s conduct constitutes violations of the unfair and deceptive practices acts, implicates consumer protection concerns and results in substantial injury to consumers.

He and the class members claim they have been damaged as a proximate result of Seagate’s deceptive and unfair conduct.

“Plaintiff and class have been damaged as a proximate result of defendants’ course of conduct and violations of the Consumer Fraud Acts in that they purchased a product that did not have the advertised operational capacity,” the complaint states.

Mallon and members of the class respectfully request an award of all compensable damages and attorneys’ fees, costs and expenses to be assessed against defendants and pray for judgment in his favor.

Mallon also claims that as a result of Seagate’s conduct, they have unjustly received and retained a benefit to the detriment of the class along with him, and that this benefit violates fundamental principles of justice, equity, and good conscience.

Due to the alleged unjust enrichment of Seagate, Mallon claims he and other members have suffered injury and seek relief resorting them to the positions they would be in had Seagate not been unjustly enriched.

Mallon asks that the court award him and the class equitable relief, including but not limited to the return of monies wrongfully obtained by defendants, but in no event should the value of recovery exceed $75,000.

Based in Scotts Valley, Calif., Seagate is the world’s largest supplier of disc media and manufactures among other things, tape drive systems, which are at issue here.

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