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The U.S. Supreme Court has denied an appeal by Hewlett-Packard Co. to dismiss a class-action lawsuit against Compaq Computer Corp., which HP acquired in 2002. The lawsuit, filed in 2003 by Oklahoma residents Stephen and Beverly Grider, alleges that Compaq sold them a computer with a defective floppy disk drive. The company did not replace the faulty drive, the Griders alleged.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to intervene in the Oklahoma lawsuit on behalf of HP. The case now goes back to an Oklahoma state court.

In 2005, the District Court of Cleveland County, Oklahoma, allowed the Grider lawsuit to become a nationwide class-action lawsuit. HP had appealed that decision.

Since 2000, several U.S. residents have filed similar lawsuits against Compaq and HP. The lawsuits alleged that Compaq sold computers with faulty floppy disk controllers, causing data loss or corruption.

The Texas Supreme Court in 2005 refused to allow a nationwide class-action lawsuit in a case that had been filed in the state in 2000. HP had argued that the facts in the Oklahoma case were similar.

An HP spokesman wasn't immediately available for comment Tuesday.


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