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Judge Allows Lawsuit Claiming James Bond Box Set Was Incomplete

In a victory for James Bond completists, a federal judge has refused to dismiss a proposed class action suit alleging that MGM and 20th Century Fox deceptively marketed a James Bond box set.

Mary L. Johnson, of Pierce County, Wash., purchased one of the box sets from Amazon in February of 2016 for $106.44, only to discover that “Casino Royale” (1967) and “Never Say Never Again” (1983) were not included. She filed a lawsuit in April, accusing MGM and 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment of violating Washington’s Consumer Protection Act and breach of express warranties.

Judge Ricardo S. Martinez issued a ruling on Thursday dismissing parts of the complaint, but allowing the substance of the allegations to move forward. Martinez’s ruling hinges on the claim that the box set included “all” of the James Bond films.

The defendants claim that the word is open to some interpretation, and qualifies as advertising “puffery” which is not subject to litigation. Johnson’s legal team — from the firms Eisenhower Carlson PLLC, of Tacoma, Wash., and Statman Harris & Eyrich LLC, of Cincinnati, Ohio — countered that there is nothing vague or subjective about the word “all.”

“No reasonable person, unless a James Bond expert, would understand that ‘all’ does not mean all, and ‘every’ means only certain films,” the lawyers wrote.

In his opinion, Martinez declined to dismiss the claim at this stage, and said a jury would have to decide whether the term was misleading.

“A jury must determine whether a reasonable person would expect ‘Casino Royale’ and ‘Never Say Never Again’ to be included in a complete set of James Bond films,” Martinez wrote. “From the Defendants’ perspective, this claim will have to ‘Die Another Day.'”

The judge granted a motion to dismiss parent companies MGM Holdings and 21st Century Fox from the suit, and dismissed a claim of breach of implied warranty of merchantability.

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