Alleged Kindle cover flaw could cost Amazon more than $5 million

Seattle (WA) – What do you do if you have just purchased a Kindle as well as a $30 protective cover that may actually cause the Kindle screen to break? You may ask Amazon for a free replacement and they may decline. In that case, you could run to a lawyer and sue. Which is exactly what Matthew Geise, executive director of a Seattle property management firm. In a rather selfless effort, he aims to speak for all Kindle 2 and Kindle DX owners, and sued Amazon for more than $5 million.

It may be one of those lawsuits you knew would be coming sooner or later. A product as successful as the Kindle is always an attractive target for a lawsuit and often it simply seems a matter of the right angle and a lucky lawyer until a class action suit is filed.

This specific lawsuit, filed on Tuesday in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, alleges that Kindle 2 and DX covers sold by Amazon can crack the Kindle screens because of pressure on their hinge. The damage is said to be serious enough to make the device inoperable.

According to the Seattle Times, Geise was so upset about this circumstance and the fact that an Amazon  customer representative told “Geise’s wife, Alisa Brodkowitz, that the cracks are a ‘common problem’ but reiterated that the couple would have to pay $200 to get a replacement unit.” A supervisor told the couple that the cracked one may end up being repaired and offered as a refurbished Kindle. Geise claims that the cracks started surfacing after about three months of usage, around the points where the cover attaches with metal clips. Eventually, the device stopped working and the class action complaint filed by Geise now seeks refunds, treble damages and legal costs.

Geise’s lawyer claims that Amazon in fact once offered a free replacement of Kindles, but began charging $200 for the replacement when complaints of cracked screens began trickling in.
Amazon declined to comment on the suit. The Kindle currently sells for $299. The Kindle DX is priced at $489.