Federal Judge Sends Nintendo Class Action Suit To Arbitration

Published: March 11, 2020 11:16 AM /


An image of someone removing a Joy-Con from the Nintendo Switch

Back in July last year, law firm Chimicles Schwartz Kriner & Donaldson-Smith LLP filed a class-action lawsuit against Nintendo. The original class-action lawsuit concerned Joy-Con controller drift on Nintendo's Switch console, which the plaintiffs said Nintendo knew about and did not sufficiently prevent. Naturally, the Japanese gaming giant requested to have the suit dismissed. That request has been rejected by US District Judge Thomas S. Zilly.

Instead of dismissal, Judge Zilly has stayed the case while it undergoes arbitration. Back in December, original complainant Ryan Diaz argued that a California Supreme Court decision invalidated a Nintendo arbitration agreement. Judge Zilly says that this is not the case, however. He says the original arbitration agreement is valid, so the case must undergo arbitration.

If you're wondering what arbitration actually is, here's a quick breakdown. Arbitration is a method by which two parties seek a private resolution to a case instead of going to court. It must be agreed upon by both parties, but that's where Nintendo's licensing agreement comes in. Effectively, Nintendo wants the case to be settled out of court rather than spending time on a lengthy and potentially more costly court process.

This isn't necessarily the end for Chimicles Schwartz Kriner & Donaldson-Smith LLP or their clients. Judge Zilly has put the original case on hold while it goes through the arbitration process. The decision the arbitration committee reaches is binding, but the case hasn't been dismissed, so things could still go the way of the original complaintants.

There's a lot of legal jargon in this story, but this is effectively a minor loss for both Nintendo and the plaintiffs. Nintendo wanted this case to be dismissed out of hand and that hasn't happened. The plaintiffs, however, wanted arbitration to be avoided, which also hasn't happened. What happens next depends on the verdict the arbitration party reaches, which may include compensation for purchasers. We'll bring you more on this story as and when it happens.

How do you feel about Joy-Con drift? Have you experienced it? Let us know in the comments below!

Have a tip, or want to point out something we missed? Leave a Comment or e-mail us at tips@techraptor.net

Joe Allen's profile picture
| Senior Writer

Joe has been writing for TechRaptor for several years, and in those years has learned a lot about the gaming industry and its foibles. He’s originally an… More about Joseph