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Judge dismisses iMac screen defect lawsuit

updated 10:30 am EST, Tue December 22, 2009

Verdict coincides with firmware update

A federal judge in New York has dismissed a class action lawsuit against Apple, reports say. The case originated in complaints about the iMac, saying that the computer would begin displaying vertical lines after the warranty period had expired. Apple was alleged to be aware of manufacturing defects, while doing nothing to caution the public.

The dismissal is based on the nature of the allegations, which the judge has ruled to be too broad to be examined. The case could however persist on the basis of its common-law claim, so long as plaintiff lawyers amend it to reduce scope. An altered suit would likely carry lower penalties for Apple.

The ruling comes just after a firmware update for 27-inch iMacs, updating ATI video cards to fix recent glitches. Results are said to be uneven, solving problems in some cases while leaving them intact in others. The flaws could be behind recent shipping delays on 27-inch systems.

by MacNN Staff





  1. bjojade

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Waste of time

    The machine has a warranty. Anything after that and you're on your own. This should NOT be allowed as a class action suit.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: Waste of time

    Right... Who cares if merchandise is defective. There was a warranty! And if you can afford a 27" iMac, you can afford to fix it yourself!

  1. Paul Huang

    Joined: Dec 1969


    guilty conscience

    When Apple knows about a problem before production, that problem is generally covered by a warranty extension. For example, the splintering of the palm rest on the MacBook plastic and the hard drive's glue-on rail (where you are required to 'cool off' the computer for 30 minutes before you slide it out, or the rails would come out with it).

    Dumb design which led to indefensible problems.

  1. JuanGuapo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Hasn't anyone stopped to think this issue has more to do w/ ATI than the iMac itself? After all, it's ATI chipsets in the 27" iMac that are having the problem.

    I think Apple designs the best computers in the business, but having great design doesn't equal infallibility.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: guilty conscience

    When Apple knows about a problem before production, that problem is generally covered by a warranty extension.

    So, you're saying Apple is knowingly making faulty products and then, when enough people complain, they start up a warranty extension program?

    I don't think so. The extensions have been made where defects have shown over the course of time. There are issues you can't see until the machine has run for 6 months or more. For example, liquid cooling in PPC G5s, imac/PPC G5 power supplies, crappy iBook video, your bad MacBook cases.

    And the warranty extension program can also be considered the "Stop the class-action suit before it begins!" program, which is what they'd face without it, most likely.

  1. zimbardo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Lawyers, lawyers, lawyers...

    What's so wrong about buying AppleCare?

    Isn't AppleCare easier than getting a lawyer?

    Why not save money on new car warranties as well? Sue the manufacturer after 36 months or 50,000 miles, whichever comes first.

  1. facebook_Hero

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Dec 2009


    The Judge did right

    This is just like the situation where apple had a problem with the early 2008 macbookpro and the overheating Nvidia chip, which caused 3 logic boards to be replaced in one of mine. Apple extended the warranty on that problem to 3 years total, and was very good about replacing the entire logic board whenever the chip fried. No need for lawyers here...

  1. t0fb

    Joined: Dec 1969


    iMac G5 not 27" Intel.

    "The suit states that Hovsepian, a Florida resident, purchased his iMac G5 from Apple in October 2006. The plaintiff alleged that vertical lines began to appear on his display screen in March 2008, which eventually progressed to the point that the screen was unusable."

    Appleinsider, "Judge dismisses suit against Apple over iMac G5 display issues"

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