Feeds

Dell ordered back to court in laptop dustup

'Unconscionable' arbitration overruled

Top three mobile application threats

Dell has been ordered back into court to face claims it knowingly sold defective Inspiron 5160 and 1150 laptops.

In October 2006, three Inspiron owners - Michael Omstead, Melissa Malloy, and Lisa Smith - filed suit against the PC maker, charging the company with "misconduct in connection with the design, manufacture, warranting, advertising and selling of the affected computers."

The trio complained that their laptops' cooling systems were inadequate, that their power supplies and cooling systems failed prematurely under normal use, and that their batteries either failed to charge or would only hold a charge for a short time.

Omstead et al. were also steamed that the software patch Dell issued to fix the overheating Inspiron did so in part by slowing the clock speed of the allegedly defective Inspirons, and that "for some period of time presently unknown," Dell not only replaced defective parts with parts of the same design, but also charged customers for the parts and labor involved in those swap-outs.

United States District Judge Phyllis Hamilton, however, dismissed the suit in May 2008 because the plaintiffs refused to follow a court order sending them into arbitration.

Omstead, Malloy, and Smith filed an appeal a month later, and this Friday, Reuters reports, the US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco agreed with them. Judge Lyle Strom said that the District Court should not have dismissed the case, and that it was in the public's interest to let it comtinue. Strom also said it was "unconscionable" to enforce a provision in customers' sales contracts requiring arbitration, according to Reuters.

And so it's back to square one for Michael Dell, Michael Omstead, Melissa Malloy, and Lisa Smith - although the plaintiffs now have a victory under their belts, and a judge's opinion that requiring the arbitration of individual cases of $1,200 to $1,500 laptops is "unconscionable." ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Feast your PUNY eyes on highest resolution phone display EVER
Too much pixel dust for your strained eyeballs to handle
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Report: Apple seeking to raise iPhone 6 price by a HUNDRED BUCKS
'Well, that 5c experiment didn't go so well – let's try the other direction'
Leaked pics show EMBIGGENED iPhone 6 screen
Fat-fingered fanbois rejoice over Chinternet snaps
US mobile firms cave on kill switch, agree to install anti-theft code
Slow and kludgy rollout will protect corporate profits
Rounded corners? Pah! Amazon's '3D phone has eye-tracking tech'
Now THAT'S what we call a proper new feature
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Sony battery recall as VAIO goes out with a bang, not a whimper
The perils of having Panasonic as a partner
NORKS' own smartmobe pegged as Chinese landfill Android
Fake kit in the hermit kingdom? That's just Kim Jong-un-believable!
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.