Yale Student Sues Airline for Million Bucks Over Lost Xbox 360

A Yale University student is suing US Airways for up to a million dollars over an Xbox 360 that went missing from his luggage following a December flight from Connecticut to Ohio.

The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that Jesse Maiman, 21, filed suit against the airline in Hamilton County, Ohio yesterday.

From the newspaper report:

Included in his luggage for that trip was his Xbox 360, which had a specialized hard drive and components he said cost more than $1,000.

When he picked up his luggage after landing… he saw that everything was there except the video-game console and its accompanying components… What followed, his suit alleges, was weeks of "an unconscionable ‘run-around’ "…


"That thing was my DVD player," Maiman, a junior film studies major, said… The suit seeks to have the airline pay him $1,700 for the loss of the gaming system and for "non-economic distress" of at least $25,000, but "in the maximum amount allowable by law or, in the alternative, in the sum of $1,000,000."

However, a US Air spokesperson said that federal loss limits are capped at $3,300 per bag and that the airline’s luggage policy excludes liability for electronics.


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  1. Sai says:

    The one time I was transporting a 360 on a plane trip, I put that sucker in a backpack and took it as a carry-on. I could barely fit many clothes, but I’ll be damned if I’ll put ANY electronics in a checked bag.

  2. JohnMidnight says:

    Just something I’ve come over, is that, aren’t Baggage Handlers employed by the Air Port, rather than the Air Lines? Therefore not able to be covered or protected by the Air Lines.

  3. Torven says:

    The limit is actually set by international treaty at just under $1,500 right now.  I think you have to specifically declare and insure anything worth more than that.  The gist of the disclaimer is that they will take responsibility for any non-fragile items worth less than that amount, and assume that by checking your bags without a special declaration that you are complying with those luggage restrictions.  It’s the same with the post; if you drop something in the mail without insuring it, the USPS is only going to cover up to a certain value.

    Also there is a reasonable expectation that they will transport your luggage intact, but since they do not have custody of your luggage at every stage of the transport, the passenger would have to prove that it was the airline, not the federal government, that was actually at fault.

  4. squigs says:

    You can’t just disclaim all responsibility for something that’s your responsibility by adding it to T&Cs.  Such agreements are not absolute.

    Saying they’re only legally responsible up to a limit is fine.  There’s no reasonable expectation that they’re willing to take a risk on valuable jewelery.  They might even be able to disclaim risk for damage to fragile items (such as electronics). 

    There is a reasonable expectation that they’ll get your luggage intact to your destination even if they disclaim responsibility.  Such disclaimers are not reasonable.

  5. bgmnt says:

    While I get why the guy is suing, and that I agree it sucks, it isn’t the airline’s fault.

    If you read the fine print in an Airline’s Terms of Service, they ALWAYS state something along the lines of "We cannot be held liable or responsable for any lost or stolen luggage".

    Yeah, it did suck that he lost his 360 (that he’s suing WAYYYY above retail price. If it’s a specially modified Xbox 360, I personally would never take that thing out of my front door), and that the Airline gave him sub par service and the run around. I’ve been there, and I know it sucks.

    Sadly, it’s an S.O.L situation.

  6. MrKlorox says:

    Proof that ivy league is for a completely different class of people with an incredibly skewed sense of capital. It’s all about who you’re related to and how much money you have. Absolutely zero creditability if you ask me.

    Wasn’t G. W. Bush also a Yale alumnus? He’s the perfect example.

  7. chadachada321 says:

    I would honestly place, from the time that I’ve spent on my profile, it at a few thousand dollars. You couldn’t buy my gamertag/HDD for any less than a few grand. I’ve really put heart and soul into it, and that is so much time that I wouldn’t be able to get back.

    I cried once when my pokemon game got wiped, and that’s only one small game.

    -If an apple a day keeps the doctor away….what happens when a doctor eats an apple?-

  8. Wolvenmoon says:

    I hope he wins the full million. Not to say he’s not full of shit for suing for the full million, but the airlines are full of more shit than he is.

  9. Zen says:

    How does that argument make any sense?  If someone breaks into your house and steals your computer, should you be liable for a suit because you modded the PC, that you own, to your liking?  It’s irrelevent that the system was modded because what matters is that it was blatantly stolen from his bag in transport.

    Zen aka Jeremy Powers
    Panama City, Fl.

  10. Torven says:

    Just out of curiosity, has he provided any proof that the Xbox was in the bag or that it was worth that much?  Also, if there is no proof that the Airline was responsible for the theft, are they still on the hook for it?  I don’t think they are given a choice about turning luggage over to the TSA for inspection, and they have no control over TSA employees.

  11. ZippyDSMlee says:

    Airlines have the most draconian rules that do nothing but waste money and effort, the way they manage luggage is pitiful and the fact they have the right to scan computer equipment for infringing items is assinie.


    Gore,Violence,Sexauilty,Fear,Emotion these are but modes of transportation of story and thought, to take them from society you create a society of children and nannys, since adults are not required.


  12. DarkSaber says:

    To all these people accusing this victim of theft of being ‘greedy’. Did it ever occur to you that maybe he was shrewd enough to think that going after so much would be guaranteed to get the sort of media exposure a company would rather not get?


    ESPECIALLY if that company is protecting thieves with it’s policies.


    I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

  13. miamiandy says:

    This is why I always carry on my video game systems. It makes for a heavy load sometimes, like when I brought home wii and 360 and all controllers/games among other things, but it prefer it. I don’t trust airlines or TSA to either not steal it or not throw my bag around like a football.

  14. Michael Chandra says:

    Not sure how $25.000 is unrealistic, judging from the way they’ve treated him and the thousands before him that were clearly robbed by TSA employees.

  15. Doom90885 says:

    This case  seemed to have potential in addressing a legit concern about the airlines’ accountability in property being lost. Someone here already stated that the way policy is for the TSA they can take all your stuff and they have immunity and that is bullshit. HOWEVER this clown is suing for an unrealistic amount of money which I think will probably kill the credibility of his claim.

  16. imroadkill2 says:

    The only guarantee you have is the lovely RRoD!

    But I do agree the airlines do need to be slapped with high penalties.  Though one man claiming up to a million in damages is quite steep..  

    It should be a more class action and demand airlines to better service its customers and protecting their merchandise.

  17. Michael Chandra says:

    Up to 1 million. =P The way they play the game will probably determine the height, if they decide to defend their rules, the public sympathy might turn against them and they will be punished for it, from the perspective of the jury for ‘all the times you screwed over others this way as the greedy bastards you all are’.

    If they play it properly or just settle for like 30k or less, no worries.

    By the way, you can be sued for modding the system? I thought that merely ruined your whatsthewordguarantee?

  18. Demontestament says:

    The TSA Agents strike again. Never ever take anything like a 360 along with you on a flight, there is a good chance that one of the TSA agents will swipe it to give to their kids or keep it for themselves.

  19. imroadkill2 says:

     "which had a specialized hard drive and components he said cost more than $1,000"


    Is he saying his system was ‘Custom’.  I hope microsoft sues him for modding his system, based upon evidence he used to try to sue the airlines.

    Yes airlines need to pay for losing stuff.. Lose a 360, well better have one new in a box ready for me to get come end of the week.  But to ask for 1 Million, that is just ridiculuos and you deserve to be slapped for being so greedy.


  20. Unruly says:

    I don’t think that an amount in the hundreds of thousands is appropriate either. If he wins, I think that it should stay under $100k. Its not like he was injured and permanently, or even temporarily, disabled/disfigured/etc. by the loss of a console, no matter how customized it was. To me, going for excessive amounts over everything is one of the major problems with how the American legal system works in civil suits and its the reason that the *IAA’s are getting away with suing people for insane amounts even though the damages done are entirely miniscule.

    I want him to win and that’s a given. I just want him to win in principle and for a reasonable amount. And this case is an example of someone wanting a stupidly large sum for a relatively minor thing. Its wrong that someone stole his 360 out of his lugguge, sure, but its also wrong for him to be trying to sue for $1mil too. He should be fighting instead to have better surveillance on the baggage handlers and for an amount that accurately represents his time spent being given the runaround and the loss of his console. No matter how you look at it, unless this guy’s time is worth pure gold and that 360 was somehow as valuable as a peice of fine art, he shouldn’t really be getting anything over $50k, if that much even.

    As long as we have people suing for overblown amounts and winning, the legal system will always be broken in my eyes. Its fine to sue for problems that others have caused you, but use some common sense when it comes to what you’re asking for.

  21. chadachada321 says:

    A few hundred thousand at least as "wergild."

    -If an apple a day keeps the doctor away….what happens when a doctor eats an apple?-

  22. Pixelantes Anonymous says:

    He has to first prove that it was intentional theft though.

    Everyone knows TSA thieves took it, of course, but unless he has proof of it, it’ll be kinda hard to prove. And the airlines know this perfectly well. That’s why there are no cameras watching the baggage handlers.


  23. duncan_922 says:

    They can "say" that they are not liable as many times as they want, but they are.  You can’t say that you are risponsable for something like luggage and the contents, except when the contents are expensive (electronics).  Unfortunately the world doesn’t work like that. 


    I hope that the guy gets a kick-ass lawyer, sues them and win big-time, but most likely the airline is just going to give him 3K for him to shut up and go quietly.

  24. Adrian Lopez says:


    I can understand a policy that disclaims liability for things that are truly beyond the airline’s control, but in this case it seems to me they should be liable for at least the full replacement cost of the Xbox and its accessories.

    They can be held liable for non-electronic items, so why should electronics be treated any differently?

  25. Pixelantes Anonymous says:

    Yep. It’s really lovely, isn’t it?

    The airlines know TSA employees are thieves, so rather than fire the thieves and hire non-thieves to work there, they put in place rules that basically absolve them from any responsibility for their customers belongings while they are in the airlines’ custody.

    If that’s not a criminal conspiracy, I don’t know what is.


  26. sirdarkat says:

     Wait the luggage policy excludes liability for electronics … so basically they just flat out said hey kids place your elexctronics in your bags because we can go through them when ever we want and since we aren’t libale for any lost/stolen electronics well screw you we will just take those items home with us.


    I’m sorry but that just doesn’t seem legal … if I have to hand you my bag that is secure (or would be if you let me use locks anymore) and its now in your custudy you are responsibile for it … that means if something disappears from it while you are in control of it you should be responsibile for it … god I hate airlines.

  27. Neeneko says:

    Which could make a court case potentially interesting since that would determine if such an exemption is legal or not.

    I hope this turns into a case where they catch the thief via xbox live or something ^_^

  28. thefremen says:

     I know how this goes because I do work at an airport, but it is a little scary if you think about it. The people who supposed to make sure that someone does not set us up the bomb on a plane can’t be trusted to not steal from luggage. How can they be trusted to not halp terrorists go to our base and kill our dudes?

  29. mdo7 says:


    uh dude,


    I think he’s right.  I go through security with my PSP.  No Problem with that, and I double check to make sure my video game isn’t jack by TSA.

  30. BrandonL337 says:

    Question: I have heard that puting a camera through airport scurity scanners will wipe the memory.  Well what about my DS cartriges will that wipe the game or the saves?

    There have always been motherf*ckers, there will always be motherf*ckers, but what we can’t do is let them control our motherf*cking lives. -John Oliver, December 1st, 2008

  31. Elegant says:

    A)Why would you buy Maxtor

    B)Carryon baggage is extremely leniant as far as electronics are concerned, that wasn’t the nature of my skepticism.

    C)If you’re saying you got on an airplane with all that stuff, I’d believe it.  Saying you went through a TSA checkpoint from any major airport in the US with metal in your pockets, I’ll say you’re not remembering your experience correctly.

    — XboxLive Tag: JuiceLayerJihad

  32. JohnMidnight says:

    I got on a airplane,six times. Each time with a phone in the left front pocket, Nintendo DS in the right pocket. 2.5" Shock Resistant External harddrive in the right cargo pocket. Carry on baggage had a Maxtor External harddrive, and ten video games.

  33. Boilermaker says:

    Uh, you go ahead and think that his ‘experience’ beats the other guy’s knowledge all you like, but that doesn’t make you correct. There’s no reason to ‘sneak’ a PSP, DS, laptop, nor anything else of that nature onto a plane. Like the man said, all you do is drop it in the bin and as long as it isn’t flagged by the machines for some reason, you get to take it through without an issue. And since there’s metal in both the PSP and DS, ‘sneaking’ it in your pocket and walking through will cause the metal detector to beep. Go ahead, try it.

  34. DarkSaber says:

    His experience Vs. Your ‘knowledge’.


    I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

  35. Elegant says:

    You don’t have to sneak them in at all, you just put them in the bin, same as laptops.  Plus, I know you could never get through TSA with anything like that in your pockets.  I don’t even know what the point to your exaggeration is.

    — XboxLive Tag: JuiceLayerJihad

  36. MaskedPixelante says:

    And this is why I snuck my DS and PSP into my pockets when we went through security.

    —You are likely to be eaten by a Grue.

  37. ash1300 says:


    Exactly my thoughts. 

    I’m not an American lawyer, but I would have expected the statutory cap to cover losses arising through negligence, not intentional theft.  I assume that’s what the plaintiff is claiming.

    And you shouldn’t be able to just say "it’s our policy to cover electonics."  That would make sense for damaging property (electonics are fragile after all), but not a loss of the property.



  38. Unruly says:

    And what makes it even worse, is that the airline is claiming that it’s lost luggage, when the article states that he actually got the bag, with everything but the 360 intact. I don’t know about everyone else, but when I think of lost luggage, I think of the entire bag being lost and not a situation where one item from the bag is missing and you get the rest. To me, that’s theft, plain and simple. It shows that someone opened the bag, looked around, saw the 360, took it out, and then sealed it all back up and threw it onto the plane.

    Your example of a valet stealing the stereo out of a car is dead on. And while I don’t think that $1 mil is a fair amount, I think he should be able to get more than their claimed $3,300. I hope he wins the case out of principle.

  39. E. Zachary Knight says:

    Yeah, I don’t believe this is legal. That airlines policy is like a restaurant claiming that they are not liable when their valet service steals your car stereo.

    The airline is 100% liable for what their employees steal from the bags of their passengers.

    While I don’t think it is worth $1 mil, it should be worth more than just the cost of the XBox. Why? Because they have been giving him a runaround over it. If it is like any other run around I have read about, he has most likely trying to talk to someone for a couple of weeks. So not only do they owe him for the XBox and the time spent contacting them, they also owe him for the time he will spend trying to get Microsoft to move his content from the old 360 to the ne one. From what I hear doing that is just as bad as trying to get the airline to fess up.

    In the words of the Consumerist, it is time for an EECB.

    E. Zachary Knight
    Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA

    E. Zachary Knight
    Divine Knight Gaming
    Oklahoma Game Development
    Rusty Outlook
    Random Tower
    My Patreon

  40. kit_katherine says:

     This kid went to my high school – Valedictorian of it too.  Probably why it mentions he’s a Yale student – he got out of town unlike the majority of our class that went to the local university.

    His father is an excellent lawyer, I’m sure that he will win this.

  41. Trajanus says:

    now why should we care what school he goes to?  the original article is simply titled: "Student sues over missing Xbox".


  42. TK n Happy Ness says:

    This suit won’t even make it to the courts. A 360 is not worth a million, and one that will red ring is worth zero.

    When Jack Thompson runs his mouth, does anyone really care what he has to say anymore?

  43. MechaTama31 says:

    Guys, it was obviously a terrorist supercomputer and the TSA was just being vigilant in their task to protect us all from ourselves.

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