Microsoft Wins Xbox Class-Action Fight at U.S. Supreme Court

An attendee takes photographs following the Microsoft Corp. Xbox One X reveal event ahead of the E3 Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles on June 11, 2017.

Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg

Companies won a new procedural tool in class-action litigation as the U.S. Supreme Court sided with Microsoft Corp. in a lawsuit centering on its Xbox consoles.

The justices unanimously said the consumers who sued Microsoft didn’t have a right to immediately appeal after a trial judge rejected their bid to press the case as a class action. The suit claims the Xbox console has a flaw that causes discs to be scratched during normal use.

The general rule in federal court is that litigants can’t appeal until a trial judge has reached a final decision. In the Xbox case, five consumers said they met that requirement because they voluntarily dropped their individual claims after a federal judge in Seattle said the case couldn’t go forward as a class action.

The Supreme Court rejected that contention in an opinion by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

The case is Microsoft v. Baker, 15-457.

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