Man Sues Dell And Wins… By Serving Court Papers To The Mall Kiosk

A NJ man successfully sued Dell in small claims court using a unique approach. He had the court papers delivered to a Dell kiosk in the local mall.

When Dell failed to show in court, Pat Dori, of Hackensack won $3000 by default. A ruling allowed court employees to close the kiosk and confiscate equipment if the judgment was not paid.

Dell settled out-of-court with Mr. Dori under an undisclosed arrangement.

The victory came after five-months and 19 phone calls to Dell after Dori’s laptop fan broke. When he turned it in for repairs, Dell lost his laptop and returned just his hard drive. To compensate, Dell offered a refurbished laptop without an extended warranty.

“My big issue was, they never wanted to talk to me, never wanted to hear me,” said Dori. “The little guy found a way to hit them in the head with a rock. You get their money, you get their attention. God only knows how much their legal team cost them.”

NJ Man’s Lawsuit Against Dell Settled [1010 Wins] (Thanks to Stefan!)

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  1. Hawkins says:

    This is very interesting. Small-claims court, at least here in Virginia, is straightforward to use, as long as you can serve the offending company properly. I am certainly no kind of lawyer, but it seems to me that a kiosk is a physical business presence, likely to satisfy the legal requirements for service, but also likely to be staffed by boobs who won’t pass the service along to the corporate attorneys.

    Think of all the cell-phone company kiosks…

  2. PsychicPsycho3 says:

    I’m confused, did they settle or did he win in court?

    • teamplur says:

      Sounds like he won, but probably setteled for a lower amount to avoid an appeal and further delay… Just my best guess, too lazy to read the article hehe

  3. Smashville says:

    Delivering to the kiosk is brilliant for the reason mentioned above. The kiosk is technically an arm of the company…the papers are served to a repressentative of the company. Said rep probably throws them in the trash…you win your case.

  4. pronell says:

    I would presume he won, and they settled rather than trying to appeal.

  5. Plasmafire says:

    That is freaking awesome, great idea for a new tactic. Can we do this to cellphone kiosks too?

  6. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    I don’t think this would work for a cell phone company, as often times the kiosks are a franchise, or seperate company. Not to sure how it all works, but I think it is as if they are a company licensed to sell Cingular (or whatever) service and phones.

    In this case, the Dell kiosk was set up by Dell, hand had employees who recieved their paychecks from Dell.

  7. segfault, registered cat offender says:

    Cingular has corporate-owned stores, so this might work for them.

  8. dbot says:

    Good story, but their legal team is probably in-house counsel that didn’t cost them anything.

    • Evil_Otto would rather pay taxes than make someone else rich says:

      Yeah, salaries and benefits are cost-free. And their time is unlimited.

  9. pestie says:

    Why would he want a refrubed laptop anyway? Jeez! He probably sent it to Dell because it was frubed in the first place!

  10. pestie says:

    Why would he want a refrubed laptop anyway? Jeez! He probably sent it back to Dell because it was frubed in the first place!

  11. Baz says:

    So to do this…you need the proper address. Did he just use “Dell Kiosk, by the food court, Paramus Mall, Paramus, NJ 22222″? In NYC, the address to serve papers has to be the proper legal address – this is where it can get tricky. Anyone else had any luck with this?

  12. humphrmi says:

    Baz,

    This is way late, but every piece of property that is rented out has a proper legal address, Kiosks and all. Otherwise another legal document, the lease, could not be written.

    It may well be some contrived address with an odd “unit number” or some such, but it’s still legal.

  13. BritBoy says:

    Baz, also way late. But you don’t need the ‘real address’. But you do need to be able to show you correctly ‘served’ the notice.

    And leases can be written without a ‘real postal office address’. A map can be draw which identifies the location; ‘the land known as kiosk 26B and highlighted in red on map…..’. again, IANAL but I do have such a lease !

  14. Nehmo says:

    It’s unethical to serve someone in a manner that’s “legal” but yet cases the receiving party to miss the hearing. I don’t care if the defendant *is* big bad Dell.

    And everybody is judging the merits of this case by listening to one side only. There may be more to the story.

    • Evil_Otto would rather pay taxes than make someone else rich says:

      Ethics? Seriously? If you’re going to argue ethics, then you can accuse Dell of being unethical. Cancels it out nicely.

      And before someone whines about ‘two wrongs not making a right’, realize this is American big business you’re talking about. It’s a case of ‘wrong the other guy before he wrongs you first’.

  15. UHF says:

    I always thought that to sue a corporation you had to serve the summons to the “registered agent”, not just some random employee.

  16. foxface says:

    Omg good for you! I was like you, calls were never returned the issue never resolved.. three months i agrued with those people to no avail. i sent em a new pc that didnt work after having it for a few weeks, and its always a loop hole you have to accept thier crappy refurbs… anyway i finally gave up one day , when after calling them i suffered a stroke.. i swear they caused it! Im so happy that someone prevailed .. Now who wants to start a class action suit? First we sue those customer care torturers, then Dell, for false representation They dont build pc’s they sell toys!! Kudos!!

  17. rockamon says:

    I thought the headline read, “Man sues deli…” I was like, who would buy deli meats from a mall kisok?!