A nearly 9-year-old class action lawsuit accusing Intel Corp. of falsely advertising its Pentium 4 microprocessors has survived yet another motion by Intel to dismiss it.
California Superior Court Judge James Kleinberg on Friday rejected Intel’s sixth attempt to dismiss the case (Skold, et al. v. Intel Corporation, et al.), which was transferred to Santa Clara court in April 2005. Intel argued the case should be dismissed because it hadn’t gone to trial within the statutory time limit of five years since it was transferred. Judge Kleinberg rejected that argument, ruling that a 2010 appeals court decision overturning the denial of the case’s class certification reset the trial deadline.
Kleinberg sided with the plaintiffs, who argued that the particular circumstances of this case made it “impossible, impractical or futile” to bring the class action lawsuit to trial within five years.
The plaintiffs said in court papers that they demonstrated “reasonable diligence in the face of Intel’s conduct, which involved filing five sets of demurrers and motions to strike while declining to proceed with discovery until all of their pleading challenges were resolved.”
This conduct by Intel and HP also included proposing 35 sets of written discovery, conducting lengthy forensic inspection of plaintiff’s personal computers and depositions, and filing “voluminous papers” in opposition of the most recent certification motion, and then appealing the ruling and petitioning the Supreme Court to review it.
“Plaintiffs’ point is well-taken that by enacting the three-year rule, the Legislature recognized that cases that are reversed and remanded on appeal often require more time at the trial court level than other cases. This consideration is particularly apt here where Intel pricing discovery was effectively stayed until after class certification was resolved,” Judge Kleinberg said in his ruling.
The Intel Pentium 4 Class Action Lawsuit is brought on behalf of all persons nationwide, except for Illinois, who purchased a new computer equipped with a first-generation (Willamette) Pentium 4 processor between November 20, 2000 and June 30, 2002.
The case is Skold et al. v. Intel Corp., et al, Case No. 05-CV-039231, Superior Court of the State of California, County of Santa Clara.
The plaintiffs are represented by Eric H. Gibbs, Geoffrey A. Munroe, Amy M. Zeman and C. Tucker Cottingham of Girard Gibbs LLP.
UPDATE 1: A proposed Intel Pentium 4 class action settlement was filed July 16, 2014. Under the proposed deal, Intel has agreed to pay $15 to each Class Member who files a claim, and also give $4 million to a computer and education nonprofit.
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