A class-action lawsuit in which Dell was accused of shipping defective laptops will go back to trial after a ruling was reversed by a federal appeals court on Friday.

The suit alleges that Dell manufactured and sold defective laptops between July 2004 and January 2005. The San Francisco judge reversed an earlier ruling of the case's dismissal by the US District Court for the Northern District of California.

The plaintiffs alleged that there were three "inherent defects" in the PCs Dell shipped, including premature power supply failure, motherboard failure and the inability of cooling systems to dissipate heat. The defects were found in Dell's Inspiron 5160 and Inspiron 1150 laptops. The plaintiffs, Michael Omstead, Melissa Malloy and Lisa Smith, claimed damages and lawyers' fees from Dell.

The district court originally dismissed the case and ordered the parties to arbitration. However, the plaintiffs appealed the dismissal, which has now been reversed.

The case will be sent back to the district court.

A Dell spokesman said the company does not comment on pending litigation.