Xbox suit against Microsoft dropped by plaintiff

Steve Korris Aug. 12, 2010, 5:00am


Video game player Jason Johnson has dropped his claim that Microsoft Corp. sold Xbox consoles that spoiled his games with a "red ring of death."

On July 29, Johnson and Microsoft stipulated that Johnson would dismiss a Madison County suit claiming Microsoft negligently designed Xboxes.

Emily Johnson of Godfrey sued Microsoft on Jason Johnson's behalf in 2008, claiming Microsoft knew its Xboxes scratched game discs.

When Microsoft moved to dismiss, lawyer Johnson countered that client Johnson suffered actual physical damage to his property.

At a hearing before Circuit Judge Daniel Stack last year, lawyer Johnson said client Johnson purchased a rock band game for $180.

"These disk errors would come up and your game would stop," she said.

"It would then instruct you to take the disk out of the system, clean it with a soft cloth, and try again," she said.

"From the moment the plaintiff puts the disk into the game device and it gouged the disk, at that moment the tort occurred," she said.

For Microsoft, Christine Heinsz of Edwardsville answered that U.S. District Judge John Coughenour of Seattle denied certification of a class on similar claims.

Coughenour wrote that Microsoft placed stickers on disc trays with an exclamation mark and an order reading, "Do not move console with disk in tray."

He wrote that plaintiffs alleged a defect that manifested itself in fewer than one percent of Xboxes.

"Some plaintiffs might have suffered scratched disks because a pet dog, waking from its sleep to see its master playing Dance Dance Revolution, rushed over to join in the fun, knocking the machine off a shelf in the process," he wrote.

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