Andersen Consulting has started a legal action against a customer to head off a Year 2000 bug claim.
The consultant launched the action in America against retailer J Baker, which asked for a free millennium upgrade to a merchandising system supplied by Andersen.
Andersen claimed that the retailer knew the systems relied on the two digit date system. It believed legal action would clear its name and halt further requests for free upgrades by setting a legal precedent.
The case awaits a final ruling by US judges. Lawyers expect many similar cases in 1999 and 2000.
Andersen's decision came after software suppliers launched a US campaign to exempt themselves from responsibility should systems not work or cause harm as a result of the date change.
Pierre Andre Dubois, a solicitor at Norton Rose and Year 2000 expert, said Andersen's court action was a warning shot to other customers pursuing legal claims.
However, he said users could seek protection from suppliers by using their existing contract with a supplier and prosecuting for breach of contract should systems fail.
Rex Perry, partner with law firm Eversheds, predicted more cases during the next two years because users are currently preoccupied with finding fixes.
"We will see people scrapping to get systems free or cheaper and litigation to cover the cost of the fix," said Perry.
"If you installed something designed to last 15 years, you may have a breach of contract. But if you bought a desktop suite, these things are only expected to have a shelf life of just a few years," he added.
Cotton seedling freezes to death as Chang'e-4 shuts down for the Moon's 14-day lunar night
Fortnite easily out-earns PUBG, Assassin's Creed Odyssey and Red Dead Redemption 2 in 2018
Meteor showers as a service will be visible for about 100 kilometres in all directions
Saturn's rings only formed in the past 100 million years, suggests analysis of Cassini space probe data
New findings contradict conventional belief that Saturn's rings were formed along with the planet about 4.5 billion years ago