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Settlement likely in power adapter lawsuit

updated 01:15 pm EDT, Wed May 18, 2005

Power adapter lawsuit

Conclusion nears for a class action lawsuit filed against Apple in California over faulty power adapters. The lawsuit claimed that certain power adapters sold with Macs were defective, and failed prematurely. Apple denies the allegations, and does not admit any wrongdoing or liability. A offers a "compromise of disputed claims and does not mean that Apple has any liability for the allegations made by plaintiff." If the Settlement is approved, Apple will pay a cash refund of $35 to Settlement Class Members who provide proof that they own or owned covered adapters that failed within the first or second year following purchase.

Subject to the approval of the Court, Apple also has agreed to pay an amount not to exceed $650,000 in full payment of the fees and expenses of the attorneys and legal firms representing the Apple customers for the lawsuit.

The Court has given its preliminary approval to the proposed Settlement, has conditionally certified the Settlement Class, and has approved appointment of Class Representative and Class Counsel. A hearing will be held before the Honorable Jack Komar of the Superior Court of California for the County of Santa Clara on September 27th. The hearing will determine: 1) whether the proposed Settlement of the Action on the terms set forth in the Agreement is fair, reasonable and adequate and should receive final approval; 2) whether a settlement class should be finally certified for purposes of entry of Final Judgment; 3) whether the Court should enter the proposed Final Judgment; and 4) whether the application of Class Counsel for an award of attorney's fees and expenses in the amount of $650,000 should be granted.

by MacNN Staff





  1. redwood

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I had a power adaptor that "Blew up" literally, on my PISMO G3. One day it was working fine, next day I sat down, plugged it in and blue sparks flying all around my lap. Then the hockey puck basically "popped"/exploded and smoke rose up, it was basically taking all the willpower I had not to throw the laptop off my lap.

    When I called apple, they denied everything in the first level support call and ended the call. After day, I decided this was no good, I couldn't just have some product I used every day on my lap emmit sparks and blow up. When I called a second time, and I did not back down, I was sent over immediately to a lawyer who began taking my statement! Needless to say, it really peaved me that they knew about it and "managed me away" the first call. b*******!

    I then found a web site of attorneys that were forming this class action. I contact them and they invited me to join the class and send my fault power puck to them for analysis. I was about to do this when Apple called to say they were sending a new power adaptor immediately. I decided not to join the lawyers because that wouldn't fix anything!

    Now here we are, two years later, I'm not entitled to the 35 bucks for my trouble, because I received my adaptor. The lawyers are going to get rich and apple is going to deny all responsibility. I don't see how this is good for anyone. The legal system is often very screwed up in its results. If it wasn't for this pending class action apple would have probably replaced the damn adaptor in the first place anyway.

    I'm just glad no one was killed or injuried.

  1. Eccent

    Joined: Dec 1969


    These specific ones

    I dislike unnecessary paranoia as the headline says nothing about which models.

    I think this only concerns: black G3 PowerBooks and clamshell(non-white) iBooks using black brick and yoyo shaped power adapters

  1. denim

    Joined: Dec 1969


    "class" actions

    ...have no class. They're just vehicles for lawyers to get money, in my experience.

  1. Mace

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Got my letter...

    today in the mail, 2 letters actually. I haven't opened them yet. I will not be a part of this class action c***.

    There is a Jewish proverb: Two farmers argue over who owns the cow. One farmer pulls on his head while the other pulls at his tail. In the middle sits the lawyer, milking the cow.


  1. Mace

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I should've proofread that little proverb. Make that cow a "she"!! Of course, maybe it's more fitting as it is!!!


  1. technohedz

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Class Action Rules

    I can't believe people are whimpering about litigation because it affects Apple. I had the same Pismo experience and Apple sent me a replacement, out of warranty no less. I still think that the product was defective and if Apple hadn't compensated me then I would think less of Apple. The fact that they are reaching a settlement means that some people will get a check from Apple, which they deserve. Power adapters are NOT cheap.

    A Class action lawsuit can work in a few ways, but one of the most important ways is that it allows a group of people who could not otherwise afford to represent their individual claims against a large repeat player to do so at a reasonable price. If you buy the 'end class action' line then you probably think Attorney is a dirty word and need to go back to first grade and say 'a democrat' instead of LEO, Politician, or whatever thing you wanted to be when you grew up.

    The only reasonable limitations on class actions are ones whereby the same remedy is still available to individuals, but the lawyers fees are scaled by a regulatory agency or as applicable by Law.

    Reform this, reform that, how about reform the power adapter that shocked me too? Well...guess Apple did just that. Did you notice the wireless case? Funny there's no mandatory severance for the 'group' of companies, including Apple, seeking relief from another internet patent nut.

    Want to go after the criminals? Patent Office, Office of Paperwork Reduction Act Accounting (this comment should have taken no longer that 3 minutes to read), need I continue?

  1. LouZer

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: class action rules

    The fact that they are reaching a settlement means that some people will get a check from Apple, which they deserve. Power adapters are NOT cheap.

    Yeah, but do they get back the full price? No. They're getting $35. How is this 'good' (sure its better than nothing, but it certainly isn't a satisfactory settlement to all those who shelled out big bucks for power adaptors).

    As for the lawsuits and lawyers. The lawsuit may help get Apple off their duff and force them to either recall or replace the defective parts. But the lawyers are generally only it in for the money. They care not about you getting shocked. They want their money. If they cared about making sure Apple 'paid' for their misdeeds, they'd take them to court and insist on a trial. They'd insist on Apple admitting their misdeeds. They wouldn't settle for a measly $35 for their class members, with apple admitting no guilt (as most of these things end up). But they settle. Why? Because they can get their lawyer fees for as little effort as possible. For each worthwhile Class Action lawsuit, there's probably 20 that fall under the ridiculous heading.

    BTW, how'd that RIAA ruling do, huh? Really reduced those prices of CDs, didn't it. And with that $10 check (that I don't think I ever received), boy, they learned a lesson, huh? And this lawsuit is going to teach Apple to not make defective products again. I'm sure my iBook is of fine quality (and its my imagination with the video issues), and those iMac G5s with the bursting capacitors is just misuse by users.

    Oh, I'm impressed there's money involved. Usually they settle for coupons for future purchases.

  1. JEB

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Well, that's gas money!!

    350 bucks would coverred my gas, and time waiting at the Apple Store (forever) for them to actually FIND my AppleCare in the system, and replace our faulty power adapter.

    I'll take 35, too.

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