Apple Dodges Lawsuit|Over Logic Boards | Courthouse News Service
Tuesday, November 28, 2023
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Apple Dodges Lawsuit|Over Logic Boards

SAN FRANCISCO (CN) - A proposed class of consumers can't prove Apple knowingly sold defective logic boards in its MacBooks, a federal judge ruled.

U.S. District Judge William Alsup dismissed a putative class action that claimed Apple CEO Tim Cook knew about the defective logic boards in 2011 but failed to act, "willfully and intentionally" concealing the defects despite complaints received through online customer reviews.

Lead plaintiffs Uriel Marcus and Benedict Verceles filed the class action in May 2014 in the Southern District of Texas, alleging violations of California's Unfair Competition Law; the California Consumers Legal Remedies Act; the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act; the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act; the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act; and claims of fraud under Texas common law, breach of implied warranty of fitness for a particular purpose and breach of implied warranty of merchantability.

Apple made an unopposed motion for change of venue, then re-filed its motion to dismiss in California's Northern District.

Alsup granted the motion on all claims on Jan. 8, finding that the plaintiffs were unable provide any support for their claims.

"Plaintiffs provide no other specific facts as to Apple's alleged violation of the ... statutes," Alsup wrote in a 16-page order. "Merely naming the statutes is insufficient. The complaint therefore does not state with required particularity how Apple's alleged conduct was unlawful."

Alsup said the plaintiffs were unable to show that Apple's logic boards were "unfit" for their intended purpose.

"Plaintiffs have failed to allege that Apple's logic boards were unfit for their ordinary purposes or lacked a minimal level of quality," Alsup ruled. "Both plaintiffs were able to adequately use their computers for approximately 18 months and two years, respectively."

Finally, Alsup said they failed to show that Apple misrepresented the performance and technical innovations of its MacBook.

"The only averment stating that plaintiffs relied on Apple's representations appears in the complaint's recitation of the elements of common law fraud," Alsup wrote. "The complaint does not allege which of Apple's representations were relied upon, when they were relied upon, or by whom."

Alsup gave the plaintiffs until Jan. 22 to file for leave to amend.

"The motion should clearly explain how the amended complaint cures the deficiencies identified ... and should include as an exhibit a redlined or highlighted version identifying all changes," Alsup ruled. "If such a motion is not filed by the deadline, this case will be closed."

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