Windows 95 user sues Microsoft for OS-related damages, seeks class-action status
By Bob Trott
Posted at 11:42 AM PT, Feb 13, 1997
In addition to a recent request for information by the Texas attorney general
regarding Microsoft's Internet business practices, the software giant is
facing potential legal problems stemming from one Windows 95 user who claims
the operating system ruined his PC.
A New York man is suing Microsoft, seeking class-action status, for damages
to his computer. Superior Court Judge Joan DuBuque of King County, Wash., is
expected to rule by Feb. 24 on the request.
The man, Anthony Lefco, filed the suit in September 1995, shortly after
Microsoft released the update to Windows amid much hype. Lefco claims that
Microsoft's assurances that Windows 95 had been properly tested and was
compatible with existing hardware and software were false; after constant
trouble trying to install Windows 95, according to his suit, Lefco had to buy
Lefco's attorney is Steve Berman, of Seattle, who specializes in class-action
lawsuits. The suit seeks unspecified monetary damages.
Lawyers for Microsoft argued in DuBuque's court that Lefco's experience was
singular and that the vast majority of its approximately 35 million Windows 95
users are satisfied with the product.
Meanwhile in Texas, Attorney General Dan Morales' office has sent Microsoft a
"civil investigative demand" for licensing agreements, budgets, and other
documents concerning its Internet and intranet software, according to a source
in Morales' office who requested anonymity.
Texas is investigating whether Microsoft has violated the state's antitrust
laws through "monopolization and other conduct in restraint of trade in the
market for Internet software," according to a letter to the company from
Assistant Attorney General Mark Tobey.