Western Digital Sued Over SMR Disks

Plaintiff Nicholas Malone has filed a class action complaint against Western Digital Corporation for fraud in relation to a specific hard drive that Western Digital advertised and sold. The suit is filed in the Northern District of California. Malone claimed that Western Digital violated the Consumers Legal Remedies Act, the False Advertising Law, and the Unfair Competition Law. He is represented by Hattis & Lukacs.

Malone claimed that certain Western Digital hard drives, “which were branded ‘WD Red NAS’ and were explicitly advertised and represented to be designed for and suitable for use in NAS (network attached storage) devices, but which in fact are not suitable for that intended use and which put customer data at greater risk of data loss or destruction due to the use of inferior hard drive technology which is not appropriate or compatible with usage in NAS devices.”

The complaint said Shingled Magnetic Recording (SMR) technology used in the drives is “inappropriate, and even dangerous, for NAS or RAID usage.” While Western Digital initially denied using SMR technology, they would later admit to using SMR technology according to the complaint. The SMR technology in the hard drives are “potential ticking time bombs that risk the destruction of customer data and files at any moment.”

The plaintiff accused Western Digital of violating the Consumers Legal Remedies Act because of the “unlawful methods, acts or practices alleged” in relation to the sale of the specified Western Digital hard drives, including its “misrepresentations, active concealment, and/or failure to disclose…that its products had characteristics, benefits, or uses that they did not have…[and] that its products were of a particular standard, quality, grade, or of a particular style or model when the products were of another.”

Malone additionally alleged that the defendant violated California’s Unfair Competition Law because its conduct and omissions constitute unfair competition and fraudulent business practices. Malone has sought an injunction, an award for relief, declaratory judgment, class certification, restitution, and disgorgement, an award for costs and fees, pre- and post-judgment interest, and other relief as determined by the court.