Wal*Mart, Microsoft Sued Over Baby’s Death
An Illinois family that lost its infant son in a house fire has filed suit against both Microsoft Corp. and Wal*Mart, alleging that the fire was caused by an Xbox unit purchased from the retailer, several news sources reported late last week. The estate of Wade Kline, who died in the December 2004 blaze, is seeking damages of $50,000.
The suit alleges that the fire, which destroyed the family’s home in Warsaw, Ill., was caused by an Xbox 360 console plugged into an electrical outlet, which “overheated.” Microsoft did, in fact, recall 14 million power chords in early 2005, because of a possible fire hazard.
In a statement to reporters, a Microsoft spokesman stated that “our sympathy is with the family. However, we are not aware of any evidence that an Xbox caused the fire.” The statement, as well as several news reports, also noted that while the suit claims the fire was caused by an Xbox 360, that console was actually not yet available at the time of the fire. If an Xbox was involved in the blaze, it could only have been from the console’s original edition.