Discover more from Game Changers
Nintendo Wins Another Class Action Joy-Con Lawsuit
Plaintiffs: Sanchez, et al.
Platinffs’ Counsel: Faruqi & Faruqi
Defendant’s Counsel: Perkins Coie
The Big Picture
Nintendo defeats plaintiffs’ attempt to sidestep mandatory arbitration clause (and class action waiver).
We previously wrote (here and here) about a number of class action lawsuits filed against Nintendo related to issues with the Nintendo Switch Joy Cons (shown below). Courts moved the previous class action suits to arbitration based on the Switch EULA.
In a recent case, parents and their children filed another putative class action related to the Joy Con issues. Here, they attempted to avoid the binding arbitration clause found in the EULA by arguing that the children received the Switches as gifts and that the children properly disaffirmed the EULA. (We’ve previously written about attempts to avoid the application of a EULA through a minor’s disaffirmation here). The arbitration panel considered these arguments and found that the parents had agreed to the EULA during Switch setup and that there was no agreement between Nintendo and the children. The plaintiffs then tried to argue the same gifting and disaffirmation points with the district court under a motion to amend their complaint. The district court held that the plaintiffs were collaterally estopped from making those same arguments again and dismissed the case due to the children lacking standing (the parents previously abandoned their claims when it was clear that their claims would have to be heard individually in arbitration).
Plaintiffs continue to try to avoid the applicability of EULAs through minors’ disaffirmation, mostly to avoid the applicability of mandatory arbitration clauses. While it was not successful in this case, there may be an increase in this strategy in the future (for example, this Roblox case where the plaintiff is arguing that in California, a minor is entitled to disaffirm a contract).