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Supreme Court: Samsung's in-box warranty can't kill lawsuit

Daniel Norcia won't be forced into a private proceeding to settle his S4 case.

SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Samsung can't force a closed-door proceeding to settle a lawsuit filed by a customer who felt misled about the capabilities of his Galaxy S4, the Supreme Court has ruled. The Korean tech giant has been trying to quash the lawsuit since it was filed, arguing that any customer who buys the S4 agrees to private arbitration, since it's a clause in its warranty booklet. The plaintiff, Daniel Norcia, fought back by pointing out that he bought the device from a Verizon store, where an employee set it up for him. He said he left the phone's box and warranty booklet in the store.

Lower courts previously agreed with Norcia that a clause in a warranty booklet isn't enough to inform consumers that they're agreeing to private arbitration proceedings in case situations arise. Now, Norcia has scored what Consumerist calls a "rare win," as the Supreme Court doesn't always agree with the lower courts' decisions or side with a customer. As the publication said, by allowing the lawsuit to move forward, the Supreme Court is giving Norcia the chance to hold the company accountable in public. We'll also get to find out what the final outcome of the case is.