If you own an iPhone, you might be eligible for $25 "throttling" lawsuit settlement

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/07/14/if-you-own-an-iphone-you-migh.html


Yes, you and your family may get $25 (subject to pro rata) per iPhone. If there are more than 2 million claims then you will get less. Given that over 200 Million Apple iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6s, 6s Plus, 7, 7 Plus, and SE devices were sold, I’d not count on the full $25.

The attorneys (Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy LLP and Kaplan Fox & Kilsheimer LLP) get $12,750,000.00, plus any postage expense regardless. Who is looking out for who?


This is a pretty good trick the “tort reform” lobby has pulled over the last generation. They gut consumer protection statutes across the country making these cases difficult when not impossible to bring, they work to appoint judges who consistently favor corporations over consumers, they promote sham arbitration to keep consumer cases out of the public eye on an individual level, and then they convince the public that the real problem in all of this are the lawyers who were actually representing the consumers and have the gall to get paid for it.

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I sold my qualifying phone in 2019 so it was not immediately obvious if I would be illegally bogarting the refund so the current owner wouldn’t get it.

But reading carefully, it is only for people who experienced the issue in 2017 or before so I went ahead.

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I have nothing against the lawyers getting paid for representing consumers in the absence of the government actually doing its job. I do have everything against those fees being disportionately large and guaranteed while the plaintiffs get the leftovers. This case isn’t that egregious, but many are.

I’m more upset about the gutting of consumer protection statutes and the government becoming so beholden to corporations and special interest that it no longer serves the general population it was originally created to protect.


Remember the Equifax data breach settlement, where affected parties were supposed to get their choice of credit monitoring or a cash settlement? (full disclosure: I have the paperwork I printed out sitting by my desk) Never saw anything from that. Same smell, different taste.


I never got a penny from the Equifax data breach settlement. Maybe it’s time for a class-action against them, and they can repeat the process

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The class notice says that you’re only eligible if you experienced diminished performance, but the FAQ, along with every media article I’ve seen about the settlement, just says you have to have owned one of the iPhone models running the iOS versions. Which is correct? I owned a 6s Plus but never had any problems.

I still find it amazing that an iOS feature designed to extend the useful life of older iPhones somehow got spun by the media into “Apple is sabotaging your old phone to make you buy a new one!” As though your average iPhone user would even notice a moderate reduction in clock speed, but having your phone shut off unexpectedly during the middle of the day is just fine.

Obviously Apple fucked up by not making it visible and optional, making people aware that battery replacement would be helpful, but even so they’ve done more than any other smartphone manufacturer to keep their old devices useful and out of landfills.


Looks like it’s only for US people?

There’s also a real problem that the plaintiff’s lawyers and the defendants collude to give the lawyers money but generate a settlement for the class that is nominally large, but often in a form that both sides know isn’t going to get used. Coupons, particularly, are a big one. (“Everyone gets a $20 coupon for BigBeanBags.Com”), but BigBeanBags knows that maybe 1 person in 20 will ever use it, so maybe $20MM in class benefits, but only $1MM cost to the Company and $6MM in lawyers fees. Instead of a class action award thats $10MM total – $7MM in cash to the folks who are hurt so folks get $7 they can spend elsehwere instead of a coupon a coupon they don’t ever use – and $3MM to the plaintiffs lawyers.

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