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Another Nano Lawsuit


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November 02, 2005

Another Nano Lawsuit

Arik Hesseldahl

In last week’s Byte of the Apple column I grumbled about a lawsuit against Apple regarding the iPod nano and its alleged propensity to scratch easily. Looks like another law firm, David P. Meyer and Associates of Columbus, Ohio is coming after Apple. Its Web site says the firm is “currently reviewing numerous complaints” from nano owners who say scratching during normal usage had rendered “contents of the screen obscured and unreadable.” As I pointed out last week, law firms see dollar signs with these cases, while consumers who participate in them usually end up getting something of marginal value like a coupon, as with the iPod battery settlement: Consumers got replacement batteries or a coupon for $50 at the Apple store, while the law firm walked away with $2.7 million.

It’s one thing for lawyers to pile on when they see an opportunity like this, but couldn’t their Web designers have paid a little more attention to the illustration they use on their site? It sure doesn’t look like any iPod I’ve ever seen.

06:35 PM

iPod and iTunes

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the lawyers and the consumers should be paid in the same coin; if it is coupons, give the lawyers 1.6M coupons; if it is dollars, give 'em dollars; no apples for dem and oranges for us; where's an activist judge when you actually need one?

Posted by: Dan Geer at November 3, 2005 12:39 PM

I find it hard to believe that all the companies who lost time and money and all the individuals who lost data and use of thier computers because of virus infested windows systems haven't filed a single law suit.

Posted by: joe at November 3, 2005 12:52 PM

Lawyers work really hard to make their cases. Often they put their own money on the line to finance the case, especially when it is an average joe against a multi-national corporation. There are huge risks involved when lawyers finance the suit, shouldn't the reward be worth the risks? For consumers, it was all they could have asked for. The only damages they could legitimately seek is a battery replacement. A weak battery is the only harm Apple has caused them, so why should they be rewarded with "dollar signs"? The point of a class action lawsuit is to punish a company for an injustice. The 2.7 million likely covers fees, expenses, and punative damages to teach Apple a lesson so they won't do something like this again. It takes millions of dollars to affect a multi-billion dollar company. Some might say 2.7 million is not enough.

Posted by: Daniel at November 3, 2005 01:00 PM

Lawyers work really hard to make their cases. Often they put their own money on the line to finance the case, especially when it is an average joe against a multi-national corporation. There are huge risks involved when lawyers finance the suit, shouldn't the reward be worth the risks? For consumers, it was all they could have asked for. The only damages they could legitimately seek is a battery replacement. A weak battery is the only harm Apple has caused them, so why should they be rewarded with "dollar signs"? The point of a class action lawsuit is to punish a company for an injustice. The 2.7 million likely covers fees, expenses, as well as punative damages to teach Apple a lesson so they won't do something like this again. It takes millions of dollars to affect a multi-billion dollar company. Some might say 2.7 million is not enough.

Posted by: Daniel at November 3, 2005 01:02 PM

I guess they would not use an accurate image of an iPod just in case Apple sued for breach of copyright 8-)

Posted by: Richard at November 3, 2005 01:20 PM

The point of a class action lawsuit is not necessarily to get consumers all their money back, but to stop the behavior of the infringing party, making it less profitable for them to continue to break the law.

If CEOs and corporate directors had any morals or sense of right and wrong, many class actions wouldn't be necessary, because the problems would be corrected as soon as the corporation became aware of them. Sadly, this is not the case, and oftentimes corporations introduce software or products long before they are ready for sale to the consumer, and so class actions become necessary.

Don't blame the lawyers, they didn't create this problem. In fact, I don't mind them pocketing a few million per case if it helps prevent future consumers from getting taken advantage of.

Posted by: Mitchell Smith at November 3, 2005 01:24 PM

Profit for the lawyer, okay.

But why can't the money be distributed more reasonably among the consumers? The lawyer has no limit to their profit, but the consumer somehow does? C'mon, this does not increase consumers' willingness to file class action suits...more likely the reverse.

Thousands of consumers profiting means thousands of consumer "watchdogs" for further infractions by the offending company. Wouldn't this be a more effective way to slow the "behavior of the offending party"?

To the point: Why shouldn't the consumer profit, along with the lawyer?

Posted by: Brian at November 3, 2005 05:38 PM

Ok

Lets be honest, this is the most ridiculous class action lawsuit I have ever herd. I bought a Nano and have had it for about 2 months. You want to know something I have a cover of plastic over it and its not scratched! Simple as that I took care of it.

I paid $300 for something so as a result I took care of it. The people that are involved in the lawsuit should take better care of there purchases, did your moms not teach you anything.

Posted by: Chris Pelyk at November 10, 2005 09:08 AM

The battery life is crap on the NANO used a total of 3 IPOD NANOS (2 returned) first because of major scratching second poor battery life 3rd still poor battery life. My nano lasts about 7-8 hours or less now =(. I'm think I'm gonna sell it on eBay.

Posted by: Andrew at January 21, 2006 07:35 PM

On the subject of tort reform, how about pay the victim the compensatory award (with a portion paying the legal bills) and the punitive award going to the state or a trust to either offset the cost of the trial (borne by the public) or mitigate damage to victims where there is no source of compensation? It would also have the benefit of reducing the incentive to sue to get the big lotto payoff.

Posted by: Shawn at December 17, 2006 10:18 PM


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