When the Xbox 360 debuted, more than ten years ago now, it shipped with a lot of problems: Red rings of death, an update that bricked the console, and so on. Among those problems was a tendency to scratch up the discs, something so annoying a class-action lawsuit was brought, one that’s now being heard by the Supreme Court.
Microsoft’s argument is pretty straightforward. There was a flaw in the system that, if you moved it while a disc was spinning, it’d scratch it up like an incompetent DJ, and they warned everyone using it not to move their systems, so it’s not their fault people never read the warnings shipped with consoles. Some users accepted this, but seemingly enough had a problem that they filed a class-action lawsuit.
So, how is the Supreme Court involved? A federal judge threw out the suit in 2012, stating there weren’t enough complaints to make it a class-action. An appeals court reversed that ruling, and now the Supreme Court is going to hear arguments for and against the reversal.
Yes, a lot of time and tax dollars are being spent to figure out whether or not enough people ignored a product warning on a video game console to literally make a federal case out of it, but this is important stuff. The Supreme Court decision will potentially have a strong impact on tort law, limiting class action lawsuits. That said, we hope the Supreme Court asks for a few consoles and games to test it out for themselves. And maybe some Doritos, while they’re at it.