Practice Technology

Firm's suit against HP over broken printer repair ends up in federal court

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A Texas law firm claims in a $100,000 lawsuit that a broken printer and a failure to promptly send a repair technician “grossly interfered” with its ability to conduct business.

The Cweren Law Firm in Houston sued in Texas state court last May, but the case was removed to federal court Monday, the Texas Lawyer reports.

An amended suit filed in state court says the law firm purchased a warranty for its HP color printer that provided for in-person repairs “the very same business day.” But when the law firm contacted HP for service last April 30 and May 1, staff were told they had to complete online troubleshooting first.

The law firm complied with the instruction, but when the troubleshooting failed, HP did not send an on-site service person, the suit alleges.

The suit alleges breach of contract, breach of warranty, fraud and negligent misrepresentation. HP Inc. and a sales representative are named as the defendants.

Law firm founder Brian Cweren told the Texas Lawyer that he had trouble with paper jams and slow printing from the time of the printer purchase. The final straw happened when the law firm had several large print jobs, but it took three to four minutes for just one page to print.

HP’s answer said the Cweren Law Firm didn’t provide support for its allegations of economic damages. In addition, the contract limits damages, HP said. In emails to Cweren, an HP lawyer said the law firm is entitled to no more than $900, the cost of the warranty.

The HP lawyer, Brad Hartz, also said HP sent a technician May 1, but the law firm “rejected the tech’s attempt” to visit the office. Hartz also began one of his emails to Cweren with this sentence: “Thank you for the call—I assume we were disconnected inadvertently.”

Cweren told the Texas Lawyer that HP wasn’t telling an accurate story. “They took my money and basically laughed at me,” Cweren said. “I feel like we were purely abused by them.”

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