Legal News: McCaffrey and Wrinn v. Apple and ATT
This is a Class Action Complaint filed on June 30, 2010 in the District Court of Maryland, Case No. 1:10-cv-01776-RDB and amended on August 2, 2010 only to provide the correct corporate name for AT&T.
The subject matter of the suit is allegedly defective iPhone 4 cellular devices, and the counts include the following as against both AT&T and Apple:
- Breach of Implied Warranty for Merchantibility
- Breach of Implied Warranty of Fitness for a Particular Purpose
- Deceptive Trade Practices
- Intentional Misrepresentation
- Negligent Misrepresentation
- Fraud by Concealment
And as against Apple only
- Defect in Design, Manufacture, and Assembly
- Breach of Express Warranty
The Plaintiffs are stating that they are representative of a large and as of yet unidentified class of similarly situated iPhone 4 purchasers. They pre-ordered two iPhone 4s each on June 15, 2010. They claim to have experienced numerous dropped calls and having been unable to return without incurring a substantial restocking fee. They state:
In many of Apple’s text and video advertisements, individuals are shown experiencing strong reception and positive performance while holding the Apple iPhone 4 in a normal manner, including placing the user’s hand around the sides and bottom of the iPhone 4, thus making contact with the iPhone 4′s antennas.
Of note, I was surprised to see that the Amended Complaint didn’t footnote the change in Apple’s policy regarding the waiver of the restocking fee and offer of free bumpers because without that information, paragraph 13 which alleges that the Plaintiffs are unable to return the phone without that fee is now patently false. They can.
They alleged that both AT&T and Apple had actual or constructive knowledge of the iPhone 4′s design and/or manufacturing defect(s) prior to its distribution. They capitalized on Steve Jobs’ flippant “don’t hold it that way” email response to a customer inquiry as well as The Boy Genius Report of the alleged Genius Bar instructions to Apple employees stating not to give away bumpers or offer warranty service for this issue. The Plaintiff’s are seeking punitive damages for willful, wanton, malicious and oppressive behaviour. Wow. Sometimes I think exaggeration de-sensitizes us to those things in the world that are truly evil, like genocide, not the inconvenience of dropped calls on our luxury toys.
On August 9, 2010, without explanation, Plaintiff Wrinn moved to dismiss her claims against Apple and AT&T with prejudice.
This is just one of many such cases I will be examining concerning “antenna-gate.”
In addition to her position as Assistant Editor at World of Apple, dizzle runs idrankthekoolaid, an Apple fangrl satire blog, and is an Administrator and Hostess at MyAppleSpace and their vidcast MASTv.