Monday, September 25, 2023
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Best Buy, Sony Must Face|Flawed Notebook Claim

SAN DIEGO (CN) - A federal judge allowed a lawsuit to move forward against Sony and retail giant Best Buy over allegedly defective Sony VAIO notebooks. Two customers said the trackpads caused the cursor to move erratically or freeze.

"Plaintiffs allege that the notebooks froze, tracked in reverse, sometimes locked up entirely, and that both plaintiffs made numerous attempts to have their notebooks repaired without success," U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez wrote.

"Defendants were afforded numerous opportunities to fix plaintiffs' notebooks."

Ronald Flynn claimed Best Buy never offered to replace his $2,300 notebook after it locked up. Five repair attempts were allegedly unsuccessful.

Co-plaintiff Christine Egner said she first brought her notebook in for repairs within a week of purchase, and Best Buy refused to refund her the $995 she paid for the computer, despite eight failed repair attempts.

Judge Benitez rejected Best Buy's motion to dismiss the breach of warranty claims and allowed all but one claim against Sony to proceed, for negligence and strict liability.

Benitez was not persuaded by Sony and Best Buy's arguments that the problem was with the software, not the trackpads, and that the notebooks were still usable with an external mouse.

"Plaintiffs have still alleged a breach of the warranty because Sony and Best Buy have had significant opportunities to repair or replace the notebooks and have failed to either in breach of their obligations under the warranties," Benitez wrote.

"While the court declines to accept plaintiffs' legal conclusion -- that plaintiffs are third-party beneficiaries of a contract between Sony and Best Buy -- as true, the facts alleged and reasonable inferences drawn from them are sufficient to survive a motion to dismiss."

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