Microsoft hit with new Xbox 360 suit

Illinois man taking hardware maker to court, asks for sale of consoles to be halted, damages for self and fellow consumers.

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Microsoft is back in court defending its oft-maligned Xbox 360 hardware. An Oak Forest, Illinois, man filed suit against Microsoft in the Northern District of Illinois - Eastern Division earlier this month, saying the console maker has been unjustly enriching itself by selling Xbox 360 systems that it knows contain a material design defect.

This system logs more hours in court than Phoenix Wright.
This system logs more hours in court than Phoenix Wright.

In December of 2008, a little over a year after the man purchased his Xbox 360, the system stopped working and was sent to Microsoft for repairs. Because the unit was out of warranty, the customer said he was charged a $99 repair/replacement fee. He adds that Microsoft gave him no explanation as to what was wrong with his console in the first place.

The alleged defect is presumably not the infamous "red ring of death" issue, as Microsoft admitted that flaw in July of 2007, months before the plaintiff purchased his system. Additionally, the company extended the warranty on "red ring" failure to three years, and the repairs in question would have fallen well within that window.

The plaintiff wants his complaint approved for class-action status and to be awarded actual damages or other restitution determined during a trial. Additionally, he wants a court order preventing Microsoft from continuing to sell the Xbox 360.

Microsoft's latest console has been the subject of lawsuits from the time it launched. Just weeks after the system's November 2005 debut, it was hit with a lawsuit over design defects that caused 360s to overheat. A 2006 suit was filed after a Fall Dashboard update "bricked" some users' systems. Problems keeping Xbox Live operational during the 2007 holiday season sparked another lawsuit, as did a number of disc-scratching incidents caused by switching the console between its horizontal and vertical orientations with discs in the drive.

A Microsoft representative did not return a request for comment as of press time.

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