Judge dismisses Y2K class action suit against Intuit

One of several class action lawsuits filed against Intuit over how its personal finance software handles the so-called year 2000 problem has been dismissed, the company's lawyer says, and he expects the other pending lawsuits to be similarly resolved. A judge ruled that because no one has experienced any form of damage from Intuit's software products with regard to how they handle dates after Dec. 31, 1999, and because there was no proof that any such damage would take place before Intuit had the opportunity to provide a remedy to software users, the complaint should be dismissed.

One of several class action lawsuits filed against Intuit over how its personal finance software handles the so-called year 2000 problem has been dismissed, the company's lawyer says, and he expects the other pending lawsuits to be similarly resolved.

Judge John Herlihy of the Santa Clara County Superior Court in California last Friday ruled that because no one has experienced any form of damage from Intuit's software products with regard to how they handle dates after Dec. 31, 1999, and because there was no proof that any such damage would take place before Intuit had the opportunity to provide a remedy to software users, the complaint should be dismissed.

The lawsuit was filed last April by Alan Issokson on behalf of all purchasers of Quicken 5 and 6 for Windows and Quicken 6 and 7 for Macintosh. Like five other lawsuits subsequently filed in New York and California, the complaint claimed that the online banking features of the Quicken versions would not properly handle dates after Dec. 31, 1999.

The other Year 2000 lawsuits pending against Intuit are likely to be similarly disposed, said Intuit's attorney, Claude Stern of the Fenwick & West lawfirm in Mountain View, California. The remaining two California lawsuits are being heard in the same court that dismissed the first suit, and Intuit is requesting that those cases be consolidated, Stern said. Because the law in New York is virtually identical to the law in California, which requires that plaintiffs show some damage or actual injury, Stern said, he expects the three cases pending in New York to be dismissed on similar grounds.

In May, after the New York lawsuit was filed, an Intuit spokesman maintained that the company's intent is to take care of customers and absorb most of the cost of upgrading the software to handle year 2000 compliance. Intuit intends to give out free patches fixing the software through the financial institutions with which the Quicken customers do their online banking, he said at the time.

Intuit, in Mountain View, California, can be reached on the Web at http://www. intuit.com/.

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