Dell refutes withholding evidence in faulty-PC case

A motion seeking sanctions was filed against Dell in the faulty PC case

Dell on Friday refuted accusations that it was withholding evidence in connection with a long-running case charging the PC maker of willingly selling faulty PCs.

Web hosting service provider Advanced Internet Technologies Thursday filed a motion accusing Dell of withholding evidence and failing to produce documents in its possession, according to a court filing. AIT's motion sought sanctions against Dell.

"We disagree with AIT's contention that we violated the discovery order and will be filing our response with the Court soon. Dell takes all court orders and our obligations to comply with them very seriously," said David Frink, a Dell spokesman.

The documents sought by AIT are in connection with a case accusing the PC maker of selling thousands of desktop PCs despite knowing the machines contained faulty components.

AIT filed the case against Dell in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina in 2007 and is seeking US$75,000 and punitive damages from breach of contract, fraud and deceptive business practices.

Earlier documents unsealed in connection with the case showed some Dell employees having prior knowledge that the company's OptiPlex PCs were likely to break, according to a New York Times report in June.

AIT's attorney did not return a call seeking comment.

According to the documents, Dell employees knowingly tried to play down component problems, which put customers at risk. Salespeople were told to say "don't bring this to customer's attention proactively," in an effort to conceal system problems.

Dell shipped around 11.8 million OptiPlex computers between May 2003 to July 2005 that were at risk due to faulty components. The desktops were sold to business customers including Wal-Mart and Wells Fargo.

The problems stemmed mainly from some bad capacitors on the motherboards supplied by a company called Nichicon. The same issue affected many PC makers, but the problem has now been resolved, Dell has said. The company fixed the computers, and extended the warranty of systems containing faulty motherboards. The current PCs are not affected by the problem.

Tags DelllegalCivil lawsuitshardware systems

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Agam Shah

IDG News Service

1 Comment

Debrah Barnhart

1

just got off of the phone with Dell Computers senior staff telling me I could either take the replacement number 5 of my Studio 17 1747 since April 2010, ( this is September 24, 2010) you do the math, I believe that comes out to one a month!!!, or i could take all of the money I have spent and go find another one I liked better. This takes nothing into account all of my time being without a computer and, oh did I mention a 'top of the line' all in one printer of which I just set up my 4th replacement, making 5 printers in 6 months. I am enrolled full time in graduate school and bought this computer as per the recommendations of the graduate school in order to be able to withstand the years of hard and long use the computer wil be going through. I told this senior representative of he company that I had bought all items straight from Dell, no store or any internet outlets, and they had almost cost me my degree and therefore my career, And that they had better send the computer promised me while I looked for a product liability attorney. They are not even making the product that I purchased anymore, but the upgraded1749 that has only a better mother board and less of the other that the original that kept breaking. I would like to see postings form others with similar esperiences and product liability attornies. Thank eveyone that contributes to more posts

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