Apple denied dismissal of 'unwieldy' dust filter class action lawsuit

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited June 7
An attempt by Apple to dismiss a proposed class action lawsuit over a lack of air filters in the design of MacBooks and iMacs has been denied by a California District Court judge, as the motion to dismiss the "unwieldy" complaint was apparently "also unwieldy" in its own right.

An example of how dust can allegedly affect a Mac's display
An example of how dust can allegedly affect a Mac's display


In 2018, a class action lawsuit launched by law firm Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro alleged Apple's design process for its iMacs and MacBooks made since 2013, in that they lacked dust filters and allowed dust and debris to slip in. The accumulation of dust is said to cause slowdowns and crashes when appearing on the logic board, or could cause "dark smudges or spots" on the displays.

In a filing for case number 5:18-cv-07196 to the US District Court for the Northern District of California reported by Law360, Judge Lucy Koh has issued an order denying Apple's attempt to dismiss the case without prejudice.

The plaintiffs filed an amended class action complaint against Apple in February, alleging a nationwide class and 14 state subclasses, 46 causes of action, and covering 126 pages in total. The following month, Apple filed a motion to dismiss all 46 causes.

"Not surprisingly, because the [Plaintiff's amended class action] is unwieldy, Apple's motion to dismiss is also unwieldy," write Koh in the filing. "Apple's motion is so unwieldy that Apple had to include a two-page summary chart of the causes of action and the bases of Apple's motion." It was deemed that the court "cannot analyze a motion to dismiss that addresses 46 causes of action and 14 different state laws."

Due to the "unwieldy" nature of the case, the court is also demanding parties to choose 5 causes of action each, a total of 10 collectively, to litigate through trial, effectively cutting out 36 of the 46 causes of action.

Cutting the claim count to simplify a lawsuit is not entirely uncommon, especially in cases that balloon in size. Before the high-profile Apple-Samsung lawsuit went to trial, Judge Koh attempted to streamline trial proceedings multiple times by demanding the companies pare down the number of claims to a more reasonable size.

At the time, Judge Koh commented that the pile of claims was a "cruel and unusual punishment to a jury."

The next meeting in the dust-related legal action is an initial case management conference set for June 19, where both sides are expected to have decided on their causes of action.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 45
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 628member
    I just can’t decide. The eighth circle with frauds, evil councilors, false witnesses, and hypocrites. Or the forth circle with the greedy. Which circle of hell do these attorneys belong. Maybe we should create another one just for them: The Sewers
    edited June 7
  • Reply 2 of 45
    eideardeideard Posts: 391member
    Even with politics aside, we live in a nation of opportunist assholes...
    mwhite
  • Reply 3 of 45
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,151member
    I've literally never heard of this, with the millions upon millions of Macs being sold. How many people did this affect? Like 5? Doesn't fucking sound like a design flaw if you don't have a reasonable percentage of consumers being affected by it. I've been using multiple Mac machines for more than a decade, and have never once experienced this issue, nor has anyone else I know. Funny how other tech companies don't get sued for real flaws in their products that actually affects a real percentage of their customers.
    edited June 7 randominternetpersonStrangeDayscornchip
  • Reply 4 of 45
    bigtdsbigtds Posts: 65member
    So if filters are added and clog up because the user didn't clean it causing the system to overheat and malfunction, Will they blame Apple for that too? This nonsense never stops. Every system becomes dirty over time but air still flows through the system as intended. Clogged filters impede airflow. But hey, your system will be cleaner when it dies prematurely.
    StrangeDaysbadmonk80s_Apple_Guybb-15
  • Reply 5 of 45
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,096member
    Air filters in Macs? iFixit will go ballistic if they aren’t user replaceable. Will we be able to buy them from Filters-R-Us online?

    Can’t wait for some troll to come in here and try to justify this lawsuit.
    edited June 7 cornchip
  • Reply 6 of 45
    sapnhosapnho Posts: 2member
    I have this issue. Apple fixed it twice already but three months later after the last repair, I have dark spots in both bottom corners again. It's a real problem. Will have it fixed again before my Apple Care expires and then get a new iMac after that.
    ednlchemengin1dysamoriabb-15muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 7 of 45
    mknelsonmknelson Posts: 339member
    bigtds said:
    So if filters are added and clog up because the user didn't clean it causing the system to overheat and malfunction, Will they blame Apple for that too? This nonsense never stops. Every system becomes dirty over time but air still flows through the system as intended. Clogged filters impede airflow. But hey, your system will be cleaner when it dies prematurely.
    Nah! They just need to hand one of these babies off the back! https://www.oneida-air.com/dust-collectors/system-components/cyclone-separators/c-2500-galvanized-steel-cyclone-separator
    edited June 7 minicoffee
  • Reply 8 of 45
    Phobos7Phobos7 Posts: 16member
    Unbelievable, yet conceivable that Apple hasn’t addressed this “phenomenon” yet.
  • Reply 9 of 45
    9secondkox29secondkox2 Posts: 491member
    Koh. 

    Its all you you need to know. 

    When end I first saw the judges comments, I couldn’t believe how childish, vindictive, and curt they are. Then I saw her name. Business as usual. 

    Shes got a thing for Apple. I swear Federighi stood her up or something. 
    mwhitegilly33
  • Reply 10 of 45
    mwhitemwhite Posts: 194member
    Give each person on the lawsuit $50 and nothing for the lawyers and be done with it....
  • Reply 11 of 45

    Due to the "unwieldy" nature of the case, the court is also demanding parties to choose 5 causes of action each, a total of 10 collectively, to litigate through trial, effectively cutting out 36 of the 46 causes of action.
    .
    That seems like an odd way to simplify the case.  The plaintive will choose the 5 causes of action that are the most significant, that they are likely to win, and Apple will choose the 5 most trivial and easiest to defend against.  Wouldn't this be akin to asking a prosecutor to picks a few charges and the defendant to do so and end up with a person charged with first and second degree murder, jaywalking and littering (dropping charges of aggravated assault and home invasion).
  • Reply 12 of 45


    An example of how dust can allegedly affect a Mac's display
    An example of how dust can allegedly affect a Mac's display

    Perhaps the problem is that user has his iMac lying on its left side rather than standing upright? /s
  • Reply 13 of 45
    dee_deedee_dee Posts: 19member
    sapnho said:
    I have this issue. Apple fixed it twice already but three months later after the last repair, I have dark spots in both bottom corners again. It's a real problem. Will have it fixed again before my Apple Care expires and then get a new iMac after that.
    We had the same problem.  Bought 12 iMacs here at work, 3 of them developed this issue.  No fix without replacing the display.  Not acceptable.  This is why I hate all in ones.
    chemengin1dysamoria
  • Reply 14 of 45
    1348513485 Posts: 50member
    dee_dee said:
    We had the same problem.  Bought 12 iMacs here at work, 3 of them developed this issue.  No fix without replacing the display.  Not acceptable.  This is why I hate all in ones.
    I don't doubt you have that issue. But we have about the same number of iMacs--some from 2010 still in use--and none of them have this issue. But maybe our office and lab environment is cleaner than others?
  • Reply 15 of 45
    ednlednl Posts: 23member
    I had this issue too, but didn't know it was (supposedly) dust. The graphics card failed and the iMac was "obsolete" so I didn't bother to fix either thing.
    chemengin1dysamoria
  • Reply 16 of 45
    9secondkox29secondkox2 Posts: 491member
    So weird. I don’t know how many iMacs we’ve seen in our offices, but it’s a lot. Some in warehouse, some in office, and some in open-air environments. 

    Never saw this issue. Ever. 

    We did have an issue in due in a couple older 2010 iMacs where the stand hinge broke out of the blue. Not even touching the screen. Just a loud pop and the screen tilted down. Had to pay to get it fixed. That was a design flaw in the hinge. The iMac 5Ks have all been bulletproof since 2015. 

    You must wonder what environments these are subject to. 

    Mid it an outdoor, sandy or dusty environment? A foggy, moist environment? Just going by our usage and variety of environments, it seems like something extreme must be happening. 

    Not saying thats it for certain. But there’s got to be a reason for this other than the system design. 
    bb-15
  • Reply 17 of 45
    badmonkbadmonk Posts: 795member
    dee_dee said:
    sapnho said:
    I have this issue. Apple fixed it twice already but three months later after the last repair, I have dark spots in both bottom corners again. It's a real problem. Will have it fixed again before my Apple Care expires and then get a new iMac after that.
    We had the same problem.  Bought 12 iMacs here at work, 3 of them developed this issue.  No fix without replacing the display.  Not acceptable.  This is why I hate all in ones.
    I am a pulmonologist and have 12 Macs in various states of use and have opened up most of the them for upgrades etc...I have never had this problem in any of them.  If you guys are have this dramatic of an issue you have environmental issues and I worry about air quality effects on your lungs and any  immunosuppressed individuals as well as children in your environment.
    DAalsethbb-15cornchip
  • Reply 18 of 45
    badmonkbadmonk Posts: 795member
    and the idea of an air filter in a computer is an asinine idea from an engineering perspective...the filter will clog up over time and create overheating issues.

    Please if this is happening to any of you, the problem is your environment and you have larger issues.
    DAalsethbb-15freerange
  • Reply 19 of 45
    chasmchasm Posts: 1,545member
    Shes got a thing for Apple. I swear Federighi stood her up or something. 
    Not really. She almost certainly would have ruled in Apple’s favour in the Apple-Qualcomm matter, given how she ruled in the FTC-Qualcomm lawsuit, and has ruled in Apple’s favour a number of times on matters big and small, including the two Apple-Samsung trials (though the awards were reduced later). She’s just a very no-nonsense judge who understands that juries generally have very limited technical knowledge, and demands that cases not try to win by “baffle em with BS” tactics. I’ve read a number of her rulings, and they’re very thorough and meticulous.
    dysamoriagatorguymuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 20 of 45
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 2,152member
    slurpy said:
    I've literally never heard of this, with the millions upon millions of Macs being sold. How many people did this affect? Like 5? Doesn't fucking sound like a design flaw if you don't have a reasonable percentage of consumers being affected by it. I've been using multiple Mac machines for more than a decade, and have never once experienced this issue, nor has anyone else I know. Funny how other tech companies don't get sued for real flaws in their products that actually affects a real percentage of their customers.
    Which would those be?
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