OAKLAND, Calif. (CN) – The two lead plaintiffs in a decade-old antitrust class action against Apple are gone, but class attorneys told a federal judge Tuesday that they have backups.
Class attorneys submitted five replacement options for new lead plaintiff last night and early this morning in the antitrust case that accuses Apple of using updates to its iTunes platform to bar iPod users from playing music purchased from competing music services.
Days into the trial – which began last week – attorneys for the class agreed to dismiss one of the lead plaintiffs from the case, since she did not actually purchase an iPod within the 2006 to 2009 class period. Apple then moved to dismiss the remaining lead plaintiff, Marianna Rosen, for the same reason.
But in a response filed over the weekend, class attorneys said Rosen had in fact bought two iPods – one for herself and one for her son – using a credit card issued to her ex-husband’s law firm, where she worked at the time. Apple responded on Monday by saying the devices belonged to the law firm and not Rosen.
During Monday’s proceedings, U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers ordered Rosens’ attorneys to find a new plaintiff by Tuesday, despite Apple’s argument that it’s too late to find a new one.
On Tuesday, class attorneys informed Rogers of five replacement candidates.
“We believe these people will satisfy all the requirements to be adequate class representatives,” attorney Patrick Coughlin, of the firm Robbins Gellar Rudman & Dowd, told Rogers in court.
But Apple attorney William Isaacson, of the firm Boies, Schiller & Flexner, asked Rogers to dismiss two of the potential replacements because they weren’t submitted until this morning.
“There’s no excuse for this,” Isaacson said.
Rogers denied the request, but appeared frustrated at the situation.
“I will consider the additional two, but it is done,” Rogers said. “There is no one else.”
The trial, now in its sixth day, could be delayed for a few days while attorneys vet the potential plaintiffs.
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