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Supremes wave through HP class action

1.7 million individuals ready to queue up

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The US Supreme Court has declined to dismiss a class-action lawsuit against Compaq for selling defective floppy disks. HP, which bought Compaq in 2002, had argued a lower court decision wrongly certified a nationwide class of plaintiffs.

The lawsuit was originally filed in 2003 by Oklahoma residents Stephen and Beverly Grider. They allege that Compaq sold them a PC with a broken floppy disk drive and wouldn't pay to repair or replace it as stated in the warranty.

In 2005, District Court of Oklahoma allowed the Grider litigation to expand to class-action status, absorbing roughly 1.7 million plaintiffs who purchased similar computers.

This irked Compaq, which argued that the Texas Supreme Court had refused to certify a class-action for a nearly identical case against them in 2000. The court decided that the law of the land shouldn't apply to the non-Texas residents represented in the lawsuit.

The Supreme Court was unmoved by this, and rejected HP's appeal of the class-action status. The case now returns to Oklahoma state court.

A HP spokeswoman said the company does not comment on pending cases. ®

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