Nintendo Sued for $236K over Faulty DS Adapter

December 19, 2008 -

An insurance company has sued Nintendo for $236,304, alleging that a faulty Nintendo DS AC adapter ignited a January, 2007 fire at a residence in Kentucky.

According to the complaint, the home owner was compensated for "substantial" fire damage by the Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Company. Liberty Mutual is attempting to recover its costs from Nintendo. In addition to the $236K, the company seeks interest and court costs.

The suit, filed yesterday with the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky, notes that Nintendo previously conducted a product recall of DS units due to overheating issues. From the complaint:

The [DS] was defective in design, manufacture and/or because it failed to warn consumers as to dangers associated with it... due to defects existing within the Product which caused a risk of overheating and fire, the Product was recalled by Nintendo.

UPDATE: Download the complaint here.


Comments

Re: Nintendo Sued for $236K over Faulty DS Adapter

This is wild - got a game design degree from this site, they were fantastic!:

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Re: Nintendo Sued for $236K over Faulty DS Adapter

Come on! Will everything be liable for a lawsuit? It is surprising how a Nintendo DS AC adapter can be blamed for starting a fire when there a millions in homes around the world and that has not happened before.

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Re: Nintendo Sued for $236K over Faulty DS Adapter

they will have a hard time winning this case unless they find something that proves Nintendo made a bad products for one reason or another where they could easily.

Re: Nintendo Sued for $236K over Faulty DS Adapter

This may seem strange, but cases like these happens everyday, and Insurance companies do win many times. One of the most common cases involve car companies.

Re: Nintendo Sued for $236K over Faulty DS Adapter

 You know, honestly....I would say haha on them....but....no.

 

I've had a few gateway power supplies go up in flames and almost start to burn our house down so I somewhat know how it feels to be given a crappy product, and how would they have found out about the recall? Did Nintendo send out an email? Or was it just one of those recall notices at walmart where no one goes?

Re: Nintendo Sued for $236K over Faulty DS Adapter

One thing you always have to remember is that there is always going to be at least one defective product that reach consumer hands. I found out Nintendo doesn't make the DS adapter.

Re: Nintendo Sued for $236K over Faulty DS Adapter

if the company totally denies responsibility THEN the evidence comes in to show the company took "ownership of the problem and responsibility for its repair." best shock proof cameras | best olympus underwater camera
Garry Wertu

Re: Nintendo Sued for $236K over Faulty DS Adapter

it also could've been a third-party AC adapter for all we know

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Re: Nintendo Sued for $236K over Faulty DS Adapter

The complaint kinda nulls itself out.

if it was recalled, and your still using it, despite it's recall, your using it AT YOUR OWN RISK

Re: Nintendo Sued for $236K over Faulty DS Adapter

That's actually a really good point.

Under the Federal Rules of Evidence, the plaintiff's are not allowed to introduce the recall as evidence of liability unless Nintendo denies any and all responsibility for the problem.

The idea is to not use evidence of problems being fixed as evidence of liability because we don't want to discourage companies from fixing problems by allowing evidence of the repairs to be used agaisnt them.

However, if the company totally denies responsibility THEN the evidence comes in to show the company took "ownership of the problem and responsibility for its repair."

However, there is NOTHING in the Federal Rules preventing Nintendo from using the recall as evidence that the consumer was aware of the problem and continued to use the product knowing it was faulty and under recall.

At the least that's going to bring this into the realm of comparative/contributory negligence.

STANDARD DISCLAIMER:

I am a law student, not a lawyer. Nothing in this post should be considered legal advice in any way, shape, or form. This is my opinion as a lay person studying the law, this is not a legal opinion or the opinion of a lawyer.

Sorry, gotta say it, otherwise I could get in trouble.

Re: Nintendo Sued for $236K over Faulty DS Adapter

Yeah, but related stories say that the recall was only for 200,000 units sold in Japan.  Does that help the plaintiffs?

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Re: Nintendo Sued for $236K over Faulty DS Adapter

If that's the case, then it probably would help the plaintiffs.  I believe that the "plaintiff knew or should have known" rule with regard to a recall would only apply to countries that were affected by the recall.  A fire inspector or electrician saying that the unit was faulty would also be helpful.  Then again, the socket itself could have been at fault, but that's not my field.

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"That's not ironic. That's justice."

Re: Nintendo Sued for $236K over Faulty DS Adapter

The outlet could have been outputting too much energy, the user could have damaged it and that could have made it dangerous, and many other things.  So they will have a hard time winning this case unless they find something that proves Nintendo made a bad products for one reason or another where they could easily just look at it and tell something is wrong or knew of a problem with it by consumer reports or testing.

I love how some companies have it against the rules for their employees to let people know about problems with their products, but the are to tell the truth at the stand.  So they either break the law, their agreement, or plead the 5th.

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Re: Nintendo Sued for $236K over Faulty DS Adapter

The rule is pretty explicit, it says evidence of remedial measures is inadmissible. I don't know if there have been any rulings regarding partial remedial methods. I just took my evidence exam the other day, it definitely didn't come up there. But you'll forgive me if I don't feel like digging it up .  Maybe when my brain is working again I'll take a look.

It's certainly possible the rule is slightly outdated, but as far as I know, they can't use it. They could try to get it in, judge might allow it.

What Nintendo could argue is that the U.S. adaptor isn't the same thing, so they had no notice that there was a problem with the U.S. adaptor. That would be an easy argument if Japan uses different plugs (I have no idea if they do).

In that case, the plaintiff's case actually gets harder cause they have to show that Nintendo negligently MANUFACTURED the thing instead of just negligently ignored a known problem. Defect cases are a lot harder to make than just negligent cases because you have to show the manufacturer made the thing in such a shoddy way that they at least SHOULD have been aware it was defective.

Re: Nintendo Sued for $236K over Faulty DS Adapter

Was it a DS or a DS lite?

Re: Nintendo Sued for $236K over Faulty DS Adapter

the recall regarded the DS Lite in Japan, so the case is doomed to failure.

岩「…Where do masochists go when they die?」

岩「…I can see why Hasselbeck's worried about fake guns killing fake people. afterall, she's a fake journalist on a fake news channel」

Re: Nintendo Sued for $236K over Faulty DS Adapter

If it was recalled, what's the case then. Sad, but the houise owner's chances are not that big.

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Garry Wertu

Re: Nintendo Sued for $236K over Faulty DS Adapter

It's really great information. thanks for sharing this site with me. online doctorate degree | Undergraduate Certificate

Re: Nintendo Sued for $236K over Faulty DS Adapter

Does it matter? Now it's deep-fried.

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Re: Nintendo Sued for $236K over Faulty DS Adapter

It's certainly possible the rule is slightly outdated, but as far as I know, they can't use it. They could try to get it in, judge might allow it.

Regards,

Jason

Re: Nintendo Sued for $236K over Faulty DS Adapter

If that's the case, then it probably would help the plaintiffs. I believe that the "plaintiff knew or should have known" rule with regard to a recall would only apply to countries that were affected by the recall. Commission Ritual | Commission Ritual Review
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