These are some of the cases that I’ve referred to in talks or classes.
- Alm v. Van Nostrand Reinhold (content liability)
- The Bremen v. Zapata Offshore Co. (forum selection)
- Burroughs Corp. v. Hall Affiliates (negligent misrepresentation)
- Carnival Cruise Lines v. Shute (forum selection)
- Clayton X-Ray v. Professional Systems (conversion; computer tampering with former customer)
- Family Drug Store of New Iberia v. Gulf States Computer (disappointing but honestly marketed software)
- Hill v. Gateway 2000 (Shrink-wrapped arbitration clause upheld)
- General Motors v. Johnston (defective fuel injector PROM)
- Louisiana AFL-CIO v. Lanier Business Products (liability for disappointing user interface)
- Lorbrook Corp. v. G & T. Industries (forum selection)
- MAI Systems Corp. v. Peak Computer (license-based restriction on service competition)
- Occidental Chemical Corp. v. Elliott Turbomachinery (damages limitation clause)
- Orthopedic & Sports Injury Clinic v. Wang Labs (service provider negligence)
- ProCD v. Zeidenberg (copyright restriction upheld in shrink-wrapped license)
- Rockport Pharmacy, Inc., v. Digital Simplistics, Inc (property damage and computer data)
- Step-Saver Data Systems v. Wyse Technology & The Software Link (warranty disclaimer invalid in shrink-wrap)
- Transport Corporation of America v. International Business Machines (property damage and computer data)
- TRWL Financial v. Select International, Inc. (Forum selection clause)
- Winter v. G.P. Putnam’s Sons (content liability)
Here are a few court cases of interest in the law of software quality. This list is mainly from my tutorial at Quality Week, but it will grow soon.
Clayton X-Ray Co. v. Professional Systems Corp. (Intentional torts; vendor’s self-help)
Family Drug Store of New Iberia v. Gulf States Computer (Honestly marketed but awkwardly designed = not a breach of contract..)
Rockport Pharmacy v. Digital Simplistics (Lost data doesn’t qualify for negligence suit under the Economic Loss Rule.)
Transport Corporation of America v. IBM (Disk drive failure doesn’t trigger economic loss rule or malpractice suit.)
Ritchie Enterprises v. Honeywell Bull, Inc., 730 F. Supp. 1045 (D. Kansas, 1990 — Not yet online. Damage limitation; post-sale fraud.
Burroughs Corp. v. Hall Affiliates (Innocent misrepresentation.)
Princeton Graphics v. NEC, 732 F. Supp. 1258 (S.D.N.Y., 1990 — Not yet online. Misleading advertising, unfair competition.
Compaq Computer Corp. v. Packard Bell Electronics — Not yet online. Unfair trade practices; unfair competition. Compaq alleges that Packard Bell recycles returned, used components into “new” computers.
Winter v. G.P. Putnam’s Sons (Content liability & 1st amendment.)
Alm v. Van Nostrand Reinhold (Content liability & 1st amendment.)
Orthopedic & Sports Injury Clinic v. Wang Labs, Inc. (Gross negligence trumps consequential damages exclusion.)
Occidental Chemical Corp. (Recent- gross negligence trumps consequential damages exclusion.)
Step-Saver Data Systems, Inc. v. Wyse Technology. (Shrink-wrap warranty disclaimers don’t work.)
Arizona Retail Systems v. The Software Link., 831 F. Supp. 759 (D. Arizona, 1993 — Not yet online. Same result as Step-Saver, different UCC analysis.
ProCD v. Zeidenberg.(Shrink-wrapped restriction on copying of uncopyrightable material held valid.)
Hill v. Gateway 2000 (Mass-market arbitration clause upheld in shrinkwrap. Shrinkwrap software contracting pollutes the hardware sales world.)
Daughtrey v. Ashe Not yet online. No reliance requirement for seller’s statements of fact. Documentation warranty.
The Bremen case. (First broad-based lessing of a forum selection clause.)
Carnival Cruise Lines v. Shute Mass-market cruise customers subject to adhesion contracts’ forum selection clauses.
TRWL Financial v. Select International UCC contract formation questions still apply to forum selection clauses. This clause was rejected.
MAI v. Peak Software license can ban 3rd party support.
Louisiana AFL-CIO v. Lanier Business Products Contrast with Family Drug Stores. A customer who reasonably expects ease of use can sue for bad design..
Barazzatto v. Intelligent Systems, Inc. — Not yet online. Retailer’s liability; warranty of effort vs. warranty of fitness for use.