Class action Stories April 18, 2016

After Apple Music launch, fans sue Kanye West over Tidal exclusivity promise

After bringing his new album to Apple Music and Spotify, fans are suing Kanye West claiming they purchased subscriptions to West-backed music app Tidal on the promise the album would be exclusive to the service.

Class action Stories February 9, 2016

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A Seattle-based law firm is preparing to file a class action lawsuit against Apple over iOS updates bricking iPhones whose home buttons have been repaired or replaced by third-party companies. The Guardian reports that lawyers PCVA are inviting those who have experienced the ‘Error 53’ problem to contact them.

A London-based lawyer also believes that the issue may place Apple in breach of consumer law in the UK …

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Class action Stories January 8, 2016

Judge rejects class-action over AppleCare’s subpar replacements, calls lawyer ‘manifestly incompetent’

Remember that class-action lawsuit alleging AppleCare+ customers were being given subpar replacement products? This week a federal judge rejected the case while calling the plantiffs’ lawyer “manifestly incompetent” and suggesting the counsel orchestrated the entire case.

ArsTechnica reports the judge’s rejection this week claimed the lawyer encouraged the plaintiffs to purchase AppleCare plans and record interactions with Apple employees “for the purpose of initiating this lawsuit.”

But none of the plaintiffs were disgruntled consumers who went looking for a lawyer after getting bad service. Galindo was a paralegal for Renee Kennedy, the lawyer who filed the lawsuit, and Adkins had also worked for Kennedy in the past. Kennedy gave them both “monetary gifts to thank them for their excellent work,” and both women used those “gifts” to buy AppleCare Plus, referred to as “AC+” in court papers.

While the case isn’t entirely over, it won’t be a class-action and therefore will likely be on a much smaller scale than it might have been otherwise (if it doesn’t eventually get thrown out altogether).

Under Apple’s current policy for AppleCare plans, the company promises to “exchange the Covered Equipment with a replacement product that is new or equivalent to new in performance and reliability, and is at least functionally equivalent to the original product.” It’s not always the case — the judge found one plaintiff in the case was actually given a brand new device as a replacement — that’s another way of saying you might get refurbished replacement units (or parts for repairs).

Class action Stories December 23, 2015

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Back in August, U.S. District Judge Lucy H. Koh threw out a class action lawsuit against Apple from former iPhone users complaining that text messages were no longer delivered when they ported their number to an Android phone. The lawsuit alleged that Apple was guilty of “interference” with their messages.

That wasn’t quite the end of it, however. Three of the plaintiffs persisted in individual claims against Apple, alleging that the company was in breach of the Federal Wire Tap Act by ‘intercepting’ their messages. The court has now dismissed these claims – with, it turns out, very good reason …

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Class action Stories September 3, 2015

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A class action lawsuit against Apple, Google and other tech companies for agreeing not to poach each other’s employees has finally been settled. Steve Jobs, Google’s Eric Schmidt and others had agreed in emails not to offer higher salaries to each other’s employees in order to reduce the risk of losing valuable employees. When the emails came to light, the 64,000 employees affected successfully argued that this had limited their earning potential.

After Apple’s originally settlement offers were rejected by Judge Lucy Koh as inadequate, the company increased its offer to $415M, which the judge agreed was fair. Reuters reports that Koh has now granted final approval of this sum.

Koh did, however, reject the $81M cut the lawyers in the case had demanded …  expand full story

Class action Stories July 21, 2015

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A disgruntled Apple customer is attempting to bring a new class-action suit against the company, claiming that replacement devices received under the AppleCare+ protection plan were not “like new,” despite being presented as such as part of the policy. Buyers involved claim that by providing refurbished devices as replacements, Apple breached the AppleCare contract… expand full story

Class action Stories July 10, 2015

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A possible class action suit is in preparation over multiple reports of what appears to be anti-reflective coatings flaking off the screens of Retina MacBook Pros, resulting in a stained appearance. Most of the machines affected seem to be 2013 models.

A group calling itself Staingate says that it has a database of more than 2500 people affected by the issue. More than 1800 of them have joined a Facebook group, a petition has been created, and lawyers Whitfield Bryson & Mason are collecting details of owners for “potential legal action against Apple related to staingate” …  expand full story

Class action Stories June 11, 2015

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Papers from a failed class action suit by Apple Store staff reveal that at least two retail employees complained directly to CEO Tim Cook about the policy of subjecting them to anti-theft bag checks before they left the store. Tim Cook forwarded the complaints to senior retail and HR executives, asking “Is this true?” …  expand full story

Class action Stories January 12, 2015

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The latest iOS 8.2 beta for the iPhone adds support for Apple’s next major product launch: the Apple Watch. Inside of the Bluetooth Settings menu is a new panel specifically for pairing an iPhone with the Apple Watch. Additionally, the instructions inside of the Bluetooth menu specifically indicate that Apple will release a dedicated “Apple Watch app” for setting up and controlling the wearable device. An early preview of the Watch explained the standalone app as follows:

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Class action Stories December 30, 2014

Apple employee lawsuit over time spent in security lines dismissed after Amazon ruling

Apple employees who attempted to file a class action lawsuit against the company over wages they say they lost while standing in bag-check lines for 10 to 15 minutes before and after their shifts got some bad news from a judge today. Citing a similar case involving Amazon warehouse workers, a district judge dismissed the Apple suit.

In the Amazon case, the Supreme Court ruled that because Amazon warehouse workers were not employed for the purpose of going through security checks, it was not actually part of the job they were being paid to do. Therefore, the court ruled, the employees could not bill the company for time spent standing in security lines.

Based on that ruling, the judge in the Apple suit determined that the case had to be dismissed.

Class action Stories December 12, 2014

2011 MacBook Pro

Following a petition with thousands of signatures related to GPU complaints and a class-action lawsuit filed in the United States, another class-action lawsuit has been filed north of the border against Apple Canada over the same GPU issues affecting some 15-inch and 17-inch 2011 MacBook Pro models equipped with an AMD graphics chip. expand full story

Class action Stories December 5, 2014

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Just as it looked like the iPod-related class action suit against Apple was getting interesting, Eddy Cue arguing that competing music stores had effectively hacked the iPod, it now seems the case is in danger of collapsing.

Apple’s lawyers have written to the judge to say there is no evidence that either of the two plaintiffs owned iPods during the time affected by Apple’s action to remove non-iTunes songs from iPods …  expand full story

Class action Stories August 8, 2014

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Image via <a href="http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-05-01/tech-hubris-the-silicon-valley-antitrust-hiring-conspiracy#p2" target="_blank">Bloomberg</a>

A judge has rejected a settlement that was reached earlier this year between employees of Apple, Intel, Google, and Adobe and their respective companies, CNBC reported today. According to reports from the courtroom, Judge Lucy Koh ruled that the settlement was not high enough and should actually be $380 million.

The lawsuit was brought against the tech giants in question by current and former employees who believed (correctly) that their employers had created agreements to avoid attempting to hire engineers from one another. The idea was that if no competitors were making offers, each company was free to pay its employees whatever it wanted without having to worry about them jumping ship for a better offer.

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Class action Stories July 22, 2014

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A group of corporate and retail employees has received class action status for a lawsuit against Apple in which the plaintiffs argue that the company violated the California labor code by not offering “timely meal breaks, timely rest breaks, and timely final paychecks,” per a report from TechCrunch.

The suit was originally filed in December 2011, but was today expanded to cover around 20,000 current and former Apple employees in California. The employees named in the suit have varying reasons for joining forces against Apple, but all accusations boil down to Apple having violated several points of the state’s labor laws.

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Class action Stories March 28, 2014

Judge grants class-action status to e-book customers in Apple price-fixing lawsuit

Apple is facing a new class-action lawsuit from iBooks customers over price-fixing practices according to Reuters. As has been previously argued, Apple conspired with book publishers to hike the prices of ebooks, a violation of U.S. anti-trust law. The Department of Justice won its case against Apple for the same reason last year, and Apple is currently in the middle of appealing that case.

This new lawsuit is a civil case being brought by customers affected by the price-fixing scheme. Today U.S. District Judge Denise Cote ruled that the customers suing could do so as a group despite Apple’s objections. The actual trial will be scheduled for later this year.

Class action Stories October 25, 2013

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A federal judge ruled that a lawsuit against Apple and several other companies can proceed as a class-action suit today after determining that a significant number of employees across the tech industry were hurt by “do-not-hire” arrangements between their employers and other companies. The policies in question were practiced by Apple, Google, Adobe, Pixar, and more as a way of keeping their own employees from defecting to competitors for higher pay. Essentially the agreements barred two companies from offering jobs to competing employees for a higher salary. Because doing so gave employees leverage with which to bargain for higher pay at their own jobs, employers were often faced with the decision to either pay any given employee more to keep them around or lose them to a competitor willing to pay more.

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Class action Stories October 14, 2013

Apple faces new class action lawsuit from store employees over unpaid time waiting in line

Law360 (via BI)  reports that Apple is facing a second class action lawsuit filed on behalf of hourly-paid Apple Store employees who have to spend 10-15 minutes daily in unpaid time waiting in line to clock-in and for security checks when leaving the store.

Plaintiff and other Hourly Employees were and are required to wait in line for security checks for at least 10-15 minutes each day before leaving for their meal breaks and at the end of their shift after they had already clocked out. This daily 10-15 minute uncompensated waiting time during security checks was done in order to undergo searches for possible contraband and/or pilferage of inventory.

The claim argues that the time should be on the clock. Amazon is facing similar claims.

Two other Apple Store employees had previously filed a similar action, later expanded to a class action, though it doesn’t appear to have gathered much support. A class action is a lawsuit which anyone in the same position can join, and which could potentially leave Apple with a compensation bill for all hourly-paid store employees. Apple employs more than 40,000 staff worldwide in its retail stores, though it’s not known how many of them would qualify to join the claim.

Apple Stores are the most profitable retail spaces in the U.S., earning over $6,000 per square foot each year and beating even Tiffany and Harrods. We ran an insiders’ view of life as Apple Store staff back in March.

Class action Stories April 26, 2013

New “Learn More About In-App Purchases” section helps protect consumers from apps like this [video]

In March Apple decided to add “offers in-app purchases” warnings in iTunes and on the App Store following a class action lawsuit brought on by parents arguing the iOS freemium model, i.e. in-app purchases, allowed children to easily rack up thousands of dollars. Today, as noted by AppAdvice, Apple has now added a new “Learn More About In-App Purchases” section on the App Store detailing how in-app purchases work and how parents can manage they preferences through Parental Controls (pictured below). On a related note, in the video above IGN shows off how kids could easily spend thousands of dollars in apps that aggressively push ridiculously expensive in-app purchases to games clearly aimed at children.

Class action Stories April 5, 2013

Text-selectionApple’s decision to disable VPN on demand functionality on iOS due to the virnetX lawsuit isn’t the only patent related Apple news today. Head below for a roundup of Apple’s court woes and wins from earlier today:

Samsung infringes key text-selection patent: Reuters reports that the International Trade Commission has handed down a preliminary decision ruling Samsung infringed on an Apple patent related to a text-selection feature. However, the courts also ruled Samsung didn’t infringe another patent related to detecting when other devices are plugged into a microphone jack. If the text-selection decision is upheld, the result could be a U.S. import ban on Galaxy, Transform, and Nexus devices: expand full story

Class action Stories March 25, 2013

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A police officer in the U.K. named Doug Crossan reported his own 13-year-old son for fraud after Apple refused to refund £3,700 that the child ran up playing freemium App Store titles on his iPad. DailyMail has the story:

Cameron then racked up more than 300 purchases on games such as Plants vs Zombies, Hungry Shark, Gun Builder, Nova 3. Many of them are free to download but users can buy in-game extras – in one game Cameron had purchased a virtual chest of gold coins costing £77.98.

But the technology company has refused and his only way of recouping the money is to report the purchases as being fraudulent. So Mr Crossan, of Clevedon, North Somerset, has shopped Cameron to the Action Fraud helpline – meaning his son could face arrest and questioning by the his father’s colleagues. He said: ‘I am sure Cameron had no intention to do it, but I had to have a crime reference number if there was any chance of getting any credit card payments refunded.

We reported last week that Apple was adding a new “offers in-app purchases” warning in the App Store to better inform consumers downloading free apps that additional content will require a fee. The move followed a settling a class action lawsuit that alleged children were able to rack up thousands of dollars through the iOS freemium model, i.e. in-app purchases, with both parents and children under the impression that the games were free. Apple is refusing to refund Crossan, citing “parental responsibility and pointing out that iPads contain password locks to prevent accidental or unwanted purchases.”

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Class action Stories March 22, 2013

Apple adds ‘offers in-app purchases’ warning in iTunes following class action lawsuit

After settling a class action lawsuit brought on by parents arguing the iOS freemium model, i.e. in-app purchases, allowed children to easily rack up thousands of dollars, Apple has made a subtle change to the App Store to make consumers more aware of apps that offer in-app purchases. The Guardian confirmed with Apple that it recently added a new “Offers In-App Purchases” warning directly underneath the download button in iTunes following the settlement (as pictured above).

Apple has always listed “Top in-app purchases” on app listings in iTunes and the App Store app, but the new warning is clearly a response to the lawsuit and an attempt to make apps that offer in-app purchases more visible to customers downloading free apps. The new warning isn’t on listings in the App Store iOS app yet, but could presumably make its way there as well.

Apple previously agreed to pay $5 in iTunes credit or a full refund for purchases above $30 to those claiming in-app content was purchased by a minor without their permission. Apple is contacting 23 million iTunes account holders that qualify to receive a cut of the settlement.

Update: As expected, the new warning is now appearing on the App Store on iOS as well:

Class action Stories March 8, 2013

Image (1) iPhone-location-data-in-UK.jpg for post 75765Bloomberg reported that U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul S. Grewal has ordered Apple to reveal exactly how it’s complying with previous orders to hand over evidence in a lawsuit that accused the company of collecting users’ location data. It will also have to submit documents related to its process for reviewing apps. Earlier this week, Apple’s lawyer, Ashlie Beringer, told the court that the decision to not provide emails from Steve Jobs in an order from November was a “mistake.”

“Luckily for the plaintiffs, Apple has provided more than enough evidence itself to suggest to the court that it has not fully complied with the court’s order,” Grewal wrote in the March 6 order. “In light of Apple’s performance in this case, the court cannot rely on its representations that this time it really has or will produce all responsive documents.”

According to the report, Grewal said in his order today that “it was ‘unacceptable’ that Apple waited more than three months to verify whether it complied with his November order to turn over documents.”

Apple has said previously that it has guarded some documents in the case to protect customers from harm if the documents were “inadvertently released to the public or fell into the wrong hands.”

Beringer said she and her team of lawyers reviewed more than 8,000 e-mails over the previous weekend and determined that they should turn over messages involving Apple’s late co-founder Jobs, Phil Schiller, its marketing chief, and Scott Forstall, the former head of mobile software, among others.

The result is Apple will now have to give a “detailed account” by March 8 of how it went about gathering documents it was ordered to submit to the plaintiffs: expand full story

Class action Stories February 25, 2013

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Last time we checked in on the in-app purchase class-action lawsuit against Apple, courts refused Apple’s request to throw out the case brought on by parents arguing the iOS freemium model, i.e. in-app purchases, allowed children to easily rack up hundreds or thousands of dollars. Today, Law360 (via GigaOM) reported Apple has agreed to pay a settlement and will be contacting 23 million iTunes users that “made a Game Currency purchase in one or more Qualified Apps.”

According to the report, Apple will pay $5 in iTunes credit to those who claim in-app content was purchased by a minor without their permission. For purchases above $30, users will be able to request a full refund. However, credits will likely not get to users until early 2014 when the settlement meets regulatory approval: expand full story

Class action Stories May 4, 2012

When we reported on Apple’s courtroom woes in March, we told you lawmakers were sending letters to iOS devs (Apple included) and questioning them on their privacy policies about how apps access contact data without explicit user permission. Despite promises, Apple has yet to carry out an update requiring apps to ask for user-approval, but an earlier case over the collection of user data has been given the green light by U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in California. Reuters reported the lawyers representing customers in the case claimed in court today that Apple “collected data on customers’ geographical locations even after users said they didn’t want to share the information.” The judge is asking Apple to submit relevant documents to the plaintiffs by May 17.

In other courtroom news, ComputerWorld reported this week that Judge Koh ordered Apple and Samsung to “streamline” its patent claims ahead of a trial set for July 30. According to the report, the companies have already cut back the claims included in the case to 37 products, 16 patents, six trademark, five trade dress claims, and an antitrust suit, but Judge Koh said the extent of the case is “cruel and unusual punishment to a jury.” If Apple and Samsung do not agree to reduce the set of claims, the trial could be postponed until next year. The news comes after the companies agreed with Koh to have their CEOs meet for settlement talks related to the patent cases on May 21-22.

Justia.com reported this week that Apple is facing a class-action lawsuit over claims that iTunes is continually double billing a customer for downloads of a song. Apple apparently refuses to refund some customers for these double billing incidents, citing its Terms of Service. A copy of the lawsuit and more information on the class action is here.

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