Gates on The Hot Seat

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A San Diego, Texas attorney has dropped an ultimatum on Microsoft: settle a lawsuit for $25 million or he will call chairman Bill Gates to the witness stand.

The suit stems from a fire in the Lazo family home that was blamed on faulty wiring in the family’s Xbox. Back in 2005, Microsoft had to recall more than 14 million Xbox power cords due to the risk of overheating. Apparently that wasn’t enough in this case and the Lazo family home went up in flames in June 2006, causing severe burns to then-13-year-old Kayla Lazo and the eventual loss of one leg.

According to the San Antonio Express-News, fire marshals were unable to determine the cause of the fire. William Tinning, an attorney hired by the family placed the blame on the console, citing the power cord recall. Tinning has now told Microsoft that if his demands for a settlement were not met by April 18, he will try to force Bill Gates to testify in the case.

Also named in the suit are Gamestop, where the console was purchased, and Chinese power cord specialist Ji Haw Industrial.

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