Norton Antivirus Class Action Lawsuit

Microsoft’s Anti-Spyware Software Has Been Injurious To Many Consumers

When a class action suit was brought against Symantec Corporation, the corporation quickly dropped their antivirus program as a defendant because they said that the software itself was not an issue. However, after four unsuccessful attempts, a California state court judge has now quashed a proposed class suit accusing Symantec of hiding a critical security flaw in their Norton Antivirus program, ruling that the plaintiff cannot prove that the ad that she relied on to buy the program was deceptive.

The lawsuit had been launched by a woman named Lisa Olson, who had purchased the product for her husband and was told at the time that it was completely safe and secure. However, when her computer crashed and restarted, it failed to recognize her husband’s email. She contacted Symantec, who denied liability for the crash, but offered to refund her for her purchase.

After her first attempts to get a class action suit dismissed failed, Olson decided to take her case to trial. She initially asked the court to rule that her husband had not suffered damages because he had no intention of buying the product, but the court decided to consider the trial as an attempt to “revenge” Olson’s decision to sue the company.

When her attorney attempted to show the jury that Symantec’s claims that the software would provide total protection were not based in any fact, the court ruled that there was insufficient evidence to prove that claim. Instead, the plaintiff’s testimony only showed that her husband had seen a marketing campaign in the computer repair shop where she purchased the software. However, the jury decided that Olson had actually proved the company’s claim that her husband should have been aware of the danger if he had installed the software.

In a ruling, the court ruled that there was “overwhelming evidence” that the ad was deceptive and therefore not protected under the California Anti-Intrusion Law, so the Norton Antivirus Class Action lawsuit was tossed out. Olson and her attorney are currently appealing the decision.

The plaintiff’s attorney, Matthew Gould, was pleased with the ruling. “The judge found there was overwhelming evidence that the ad was deceptive and therefore a class action suit could not proceed, but I still think a more thorough review is necessary,” Gould said.

This case may not be over, as Samsara representatives recently filed a class-action lawsuit against Microsoft Corporation after a registry error in Windows Vista left many people unable to open their computer’s files or even get to their desktop icons. The plaintiffs, who purchased the Microsoft antivirus product, claim that Microsoft knew about this flaw but failed to fix it. If this case is successfully resolved, it could be another blow to Symantec’s reputation, which has taken a hit in recent months after being criticized for being slow in releasing a fix to the Windows Vista glitch.

“The plaintiffs’ claim was just one example of the many Samsara users who suffer the same problem, yet the corporation still doesn’t care to fix it and has shown no sign of doing so,” Gould added. “The lack of response is rather suspicious, especially from a company that makes billions of dollars a year.”

In a statement released by Gould following the dismissal of the Norton antivirus class action lawsuit, he said, “A class action lawsuit is a better way to go, but with this ruling the case has been dismissed.” Gould has also asked Symantec to give him an answer by next Wednesday as to why the case has been dismissed and what steps they plan to take to ensure that it does not become a class-action lawsuit again.

With the Samsara lawsuit dismissed, it may not be easy for Gould and his team to file a new lawsuit against Symantec, but he will likely use his legal arsenal to try to force them to pay the lawsuit’s costs. Although a judge is the one who decides cases, Gould plans to file a motion to compel the company to answer questions and prove their claims by providing a timeline to explain how the Windows Vista computer glitch occurred and whether or not Symantivirus can actually solve the problems caused by it.

If the Norton antivirus class action lawsuit goes ahead, it could set a precedent and allow other disgruntled customers to file class-action lawsuits against a company that is responsible for a security issue that can cause them major headaches, not only for themselves but for their families and friends. Even though it is unclear if a class-action lawsuit will happen this time around, it may just be another indication of the growing divide between the software giant and its millions of customers.

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