U.S. Supreme Court Rules Against Xbox 360 Users12 Jun, 2017 By: Erik Gruenwedel
The U.S. Supreme Court June 12 overruled an appeals court decision in favor of a class-action claim by Xbox 360 users against Microsoft alleging the console scratched game discs, in addition to DVD and Blu-ray Disc movies.
The 8-0 decision in “Microsoft vs. Baker” negated a 2015 ruling by the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco that had allowed Xbox 360 users to appeal a lower court 2012 decision in Seattle.
The Supreme Court did not weigh in on the merits of the case, rather on the merits of the law. Specifically, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, writing on behalf of the court, said the voluntary dismissal of the original lawsuit could not be appealed in the first place.
Ginsburg said such a practice would undermine the “firm finality principle” of a court decision and lead to “piecemeal appeals” that could subvert rules put in place to protect class-action suits.
The justice wrote plaintiffs must get a final judgment prior to filing an appeal. The appeals court had ruled plaintiffs could move ahead early.
The suit against Microsoft — originally filed in 2011 — alleged the 360 had a design flaw whereby the disc drive would damage discs with the slightest movement.
Microsoft, which has sold millions of 360 units, argued against class-action status, reportedly claiming just 0.4% users reported scratched discs — often do to user misuse.