Child And His Mum Suing Nintendo For $5 Million Over Broken Switch Controllers
A mother and son from Northern California are suing Nintendo over ‘Joy-Con drift’ on his Switch, an issue that could be worth $5 million in damages.
Luz Sanchez and her child, who’s referred to as M.S., filed a class action lawsuit against the gaming titan for allegedly not doing enough to solve a hardware problem with its Nintendo Switch controllers.
Following the console’s release in 2017, while critically-acclaimed, the Switch attracted complaints over the controllers’ analogue sticks, with in-game characters reportedly ‘drifting’ on screen, despite no movement on the Joy-Con.
Sanchez purchased a switch for her son in December 2018, with the complaint explaining that he was experiencing ‘joy-con drift’ just a month later, Wired reports.
Over the course of the year, ‘the Joy-Con drift became so pronounced that the controllers became inoperable for general gameplay use.’ She eventually bought a new set of controllers, which also fell victim to the same issue.
Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa acknowledged the issues with the controllers earlier this year, Kotaku reports.
He said: ‘Regarding the Joy-Con, we apologize for any trouble caused to our customers. We are continuing to aim to improve our products, but as the Joy-Con is the subject of a class-action lawsuit in the United States and this is still a pending issue, we would it like to refrain from responding about any specific actions.’
In 2019, more than a dozen Switch players filed a class action lawsuit against Nintendo, dubbing the controllers ‘defective’. It has since moved into arbitration, with the law firm asking people to send in videos of their poor experiences with the console.
While Nintendo has since offered to fix Joy-Cons for free, even post-warranty, Sanchez has accused the company of not doing enough to warn its customers over the hardware faults. The plaintiffs are asking for $5 million, although neither Sanchez nor Nintendo has commented on the case.
The complaint continues:
Defendant continues to market and sell the Products with full knowledge of the defect and without disclosing the Joy-Con Drift defect to consumers in its marketing, promotion, or packaging.
Defendant has had a financial motive to conceal the defect, as it did not want to stop selling the Products, and/or would need to expend a significant amount of money to cure the defect.
It’s unclear whether Sanchez’s case will also move into arbitration. Christine Bartholomew, a law professor at the University of Buffalo School of Law, told Wired: ‘If a company has that information and doesn’t share it, that would be considered misconduct within the reach of law.’
She added: ‘Businesses are obligated to disclose information about a product that would change the value of the product… if you’re going to buy something that’s a certain price, the value of the product would be quite different if you knew it would break in six months.’
As per an email from CSK&D, posted on Reddit by u/mittenscone, the firm is looking to disprove Nintendo’s claims that Joy-Con drift ‘isn’t a real problem’ or ‘hasn’t caused anyone any inconvenience’, which directly contradicts Furukawa’s earlier statement.
Nintendo hasn’t publicly commented further on Joy-Con drift.
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CreditsWired and 3 others
Chimicles Schwartz Kriner & Donaldson-Smith LLP
RYAN DIAZ, JARED THOMPSON, ARIEL ENRIQUEZ, PAUL BARR, JOHN RIOS, DAVID GUY, LISANDRO LIZARDO, CHRIS LUEBCKE, ROBERT FOUCHA, NICHOLAS YOCHHEIM, ALEC COLLINS, ZACKERY REED, GRANT HOELSCHER, MICHAEL OREN, NATHAN AIMSWORTH, JASON COFFEY-WOLFGANG, ERIC WILSON, LYDIA DELOACH, Plaintiffs, v. NINTENDO OF AMERICA, INC., Defendant.