back to article Amazon sued for cracks in Kindle

An Amazon Kindle owner is angrily suing the online bookseller marketplace, alleging that his Kindle's cracks were caused by Amazon's own supposedly protective Kindle Cover. How angry is plaintiff Matthew Geise? About $5 million worth of angry. Yes, Geise paid but $359 for his now-deceased Kindle 2, but he's going for bigger …


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  1. Michael Xion

    Me too, me too

    I too have purchased goods (books) from Amazon, that upon use (reading) developed cracks in the spine! How dare they sell these obviously defective goods! I propose a class action lawsuit on behalf of all book readers for 100 gazillion trillion dollars in damages plus half a regurgitated kipper for pain and suffering.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Pssst! Wrong link...

    The link you posted to the iPhone going yellow was the one about the discoloured screen, not the discolouring plastic.

    Yes, yes, I know, there are so many bugs in the fruity device is is hard to keep track.

  3. Jeremy 2

    Five million bucks?!

    And Americans wonder why people outside think their legal system is a joke...

  4. Fremma
    Thumb Down

    He dropped it!

    The Seattle Times includes a photo that is presumably the Kindle in question and - guess what - not only is the case cracked but the screen has the all too familiar look of an e-Ink screen that has been dropped on a hard surface from the height of an eight-year old (I speak from experience).

    The damage would seem to be far more likely caused by rough handling rather than faulty cover, especially as it isn't a fault that is being reported by other Kindle users at places like Mobileread.

  5. Anonymous Coward

    Idiot sues over idiot product

    Rest of world buys paperback shock

  6. Anonymous Coward

    Mind Powers

    "I was just looking at it and thinking, those cracks are growing and growing,'' Geise said in a phone interview.

    He makes it crack with his mind!

    But seriously $5million?

    No wonder the world laughs at USA.

  7. thefutureboy


    What an excellent word! Should be used far more often, along with "buffoon" which I heard again recently.

    Disgorge my coat, you buffoon! It's the one with the link to online dictionary in the pocket.

  8. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

    @ He dropped it!

    I like the measurement system: "the height of an eight year old" - is that from the top of their heads, or as high as they can reach? And how is seasonally and geographically calibrated?

    As for the Kindle cover, the product description clearly says ".. fold back the cover and .." but it doesn't continue that sentence with "drop it from an eight year old's height" :-)

    I was thinking about buying a Kindle as reading device for travel and to display reference PDFs, but I guess I'll watch how this pans out first..

  9. Bad Beaver
    Paris Hilton

    Yeah, looks dropped

    Look at that picture, it looks like it was dropped. I could be wrong though, if the Kindle's display externals extend all the way to the edge of the device. That would be... kind of... bad... and Amazon will start disgorging money soon and will be unlikely to stop in the foreseeable future.

    Paris, has no idea about what "disgorge" means either (leaving all about the "cracks" to the PFYs out there)

  10. James Hughes 1


    instead of asking for a replacement, under guarantee, he decides to sue for $5M.

    Or was it out of guarantee. I need to know, 'cos if it's in I want to sue everyone who has supplied me with a product that has gone wrong EVER.

    Barbados here I come,

    (on the other hand, he seems to have dropped it...)

  11. Richard 102

    @Jeremy 2

    "And Americans wonder why people outside think their legal system is a joke"

    No, we don't wonder; we think the same thing. Remember, laws are created and managed by lawyers. It's just that there is no risk on frivilous lawsuits.

  12. Matthew Ellen

    @Michael Xion

    Surely half of THE regurgitated kipper OF pain and suffering? Much more valuable. Taste the pain. Mmmm Sufferilicious

  13. Mike Richards

    Ummm folks...

    He's not expecting to receive $5 million. It's a class action suit which if Amazon were found liable would see $5 million - expenses shared amongst the plaintiffs.

    That's not to say $5 million is a reasonable sum, it's hard to see how they came to that number without knowing precisely how many cases have been sold and I doubt Amazon have released that number.

  14. Steven Hunter

    @Jeremy 2

    To be fair, US Class-Action Law (I am assuming that this is a class-action suit) *requires* you to pursue the maximum possible damages for each member of the class. So if there are a million members of the class and the damages amounted to $5 each, you'd sue for $5 million.

  15. Michael C

    Simple stupidity

    I have still yet to see the value in spending hundreds of dollars on a device for which you still need to purchase books, in Amazon's case at full retainl price though they don't actually have any material cost or disctribution cost, and that may have at best a limited lifespan. Further, they're DRMd and can not be shared as traditional books can be, it has limitations of a battery, can't be used outdoors for extended periods in summer heat, is susceptible to wear and tear, droping, liquids, and theft.

    If e-books were $1-2 for editions available in paperback, and $5-6 for editions only available in hardcover (for the early adopters), and if they came on a system easily portable and sharable file format, and had guarantees in place that when a new technology comes around, all existing purchased books could be migrated free to the new format/technology, then MAYBE I'd pay $60 for an electronic reader... Still, even as a avid reader, I'm lucky to churn through 20 serious books (600-1000 pages each) a year. A device might, if i took good care of it, last 5 years, with at least one battery replacement over that time.

    A book lasts my lifetime. I also tend to buy hardcovers, especially at bulk sales, so I'm typically paying $2-7 a book. 20 books a year times another 50 years is I'm lucky, times a fair average of $5 a book (excluding inflation), means $5000. If i have to replace a $150 or so device (including batteries and accessories) over that time every 5 years, then that's $1500 alone (again not including inflation). That means the electronic copies, just to be worth it for my readin habbits, need to be $3.50 max each (on average). This also assumes my above complaints that the books need to be protable, sharable, and are freely migrated to each new compatible format.

    It just does not make sense!

    This is besides the aesthetic appeal not only of having a real book in one's hands, which can not be beat; the potential of having the real author sign my book (several of mine are signed) dramatically adding value; the appeal of having shelves of books to show off to company and say "yes, I've read all but a few of those", and the visual aesthetics that a properly filled bookshelf brings to a room... i just do not understand the appeal of the digital book, especially with such a bulky, expensive and fragile proprietary device...

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    @Michael C

    I think you just listed the 5 or so reasons they created the damn thing...

    Books are far too cheap, ridiculously accessible, compellingly durable, and much too widely available. Plus, if you can believe it, you can *lend a book to your friend*! I mean where's the money in that? Can't let people do *that*!

    Plus they have these fascinating places called "libraries" where apparently almost any fool off the street can just walk in and read a book... For free! Shocking but true!

  17. I didn't do IT.
    Thumb Up

    @Michael C, "Simple Stupidity"

    The allure of electronic media over hardcopy? It is *supposed* to be the longevity of the text and images, the portability of a massed collection of works, and the ease of indexing, searching, and storing all of these works.

    Unfortunately, with the various "competing" formats, this is not happening in a timely manner. As well, the longevity of our data storage methods leave *a lot* to be desired. While one book may last several decades, a single CD is only "warranted" for three-seven years. I have "lost" data on CD's that were over ten years old because I trusted "archival quality" methods. Luckily I kept a hardcopy "backup".

    The Kindle, et. al. are trying to capture that asthetic feel of holding a book. I believe that once we have true "digital paper" that you can flip with your hand, then we might see this truly take root. Especially if they are "touchscreen" models that allow you to zoom using your fingers (pinching, etc), and can do color (while you're wishing, why not the moon?).

    Now, if we can only get the storage to be truly archival quality...

  18. Tom Maddox Silver badge

    @Michael C

    You just missed the perfect post there; if only you had closed with "Now get off my lawn."

  19. Rafael 1

    @Tom Maddox


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