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Microsoft Says Xbox 'Abuse' Led To Fire That Killed Baby

Microsoft is asking a court to dismiss a lawsuit filed by an Illinois family that claims their infant died in blaze sparked by a faulty Xbox video game system.

Microsoft is asking a court to dismiss a lawsuit filed by an Illinois family that claims their infant died in blaze sparked by a faulty Xbox video game system. Among other things, Microsoft is arguing that "misuse or abuse" of the Xbox led to the blaze.

The family's "losses and damages, if any, resulted from misuse or abuse of the Xbox console at issue," Microsoft claimed in court papers filed Friday.

The filing does not provide details on the manner of abuse Microsoft believes the Xbox suffered.

According to the original complaint, filed in December, the wiring that connected the Xbox to an electrical outlet became so hot that it started a "catastrophic" fire at a house in Warsaw, Ill. The victim, an infant named Wade Kline, perished in the inferno.

Kline's family sued Microsoft, seeking unspecified damages.

"The fire was a direct and proximate result of the overheating of the game's power supply and wiring," claims the lawsuit, which is being heard in U.S. District Court for Central Illinois. Xbox seller Wal-Mart and an unnamed power-supply maker also are named as defendants.

But Microsoft's Friday court filing -- the company's first formal response to the charges -- says, in so much legalese, that the victims have only themselves to blame.

The losses "were the result of an open, obvious, and apparent condition which was known to and recognized by the plaintiff and/or others who, nevertheless, knowingly, willingly, intentionally, and voluntarily exposed themselves to said danger and assumed the risk of incident, injuries, losses, and damages," Microsoft charges.

In February 2005, Microsoft announced a recall of more than 14 million Xbox power cords, citing fire concerns.

Microsoft is asking the court to dismiss the suit and order Kline's family to pay for its legal costs.

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