Feeds

Dell ordered back to court in laptop dustup

'Unconscionable' arbitration overruled

3 Big data security analytics techniques

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." ®

SANS - Survey on application security programs

More from The Register

next story
Leaked pics show EMBIGGENED iPhone 6 screen
Fat-fingered fanbois rejoice over Chinternet snaps
Oh no, Joe: WinPhone users already griping over 8.1 mega-update
Hang on. Which bit of Developer Preview don't you understand?
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
True optical zoom coming to HTC smartphone cameras
Time to ditch that heavy DSLR? Maybe in a year, year and a half
Rounded corners? Pah! Amazon's '3D phone has eye-tracking tech'
Now THAT'S what we call a proper new feature
Feast your PUNY eyes on highest resolution phone display EVER
Too much pixel dust for your strained eyeballs to handle
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Leaked photos may indicate slimmer next-generation iPad
Will iPad Air evolve into iPad Helium?
US mobile firms cave on kill switch, agree to install anti-theft code
Slow and kludgy rollout will protect corporate profits
prev story

Whitepapers

SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the 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.