A class action lawsuit was filed Wednesday against computer giant Apple Inc. in Northern California federal court by a man who claims the 2009 iMac he purchased contained a design defect that made the computer screen go dark, making him unable to use it properly.
Idaho resident Corbin Rasmussen, who is a student and aspiring music teacher, bought a brand new 27-inch iMac Computer from Apple for about $2,259.00 on Aug. 3, 2011. Rasmussen alleges in the iMac class action lawsuit that he spent six months saving for and researching different desktop computers that would fit his needs.
Even though the iMac was on the more expensive end, he decided that it was worth it because he trusted Apple’s marketing claim that it was made with “superior quality” and had “longer lifespans than other brands,” the class action lawsuit says.
Rasmussen wanted to be able to use the computer for word processing, music composition, and a media center where he could watch television shows and movies. The large screen is supposed to be ideal for those who want their computers to double as a television.
By December 2012, after owning the computer for about 18 months, half of the iMac’s monitor went dim.
“Mr. Rasmussen contacted Apple Care customer service but was told that because he was out of warranty any repair to the screen would cost him out-of-pocket more than five hundred dollars,” the iMac class action lawsuit states.
Unable to afford the repair costs, Rasmussen has opted to try to continue using his iMac computer as is, which makes it impossible to watch movies as well as makes word processing and Internet browsing very difficult.
“The new display was the principal selling point for the new iMacs,” the Apple iMac lawsuit says. “Despite Apple’s representations, the late-2009 27-inch iMac was plagued with so many display problems that TechCrunch, a technology news website, renamed the computer ‘iLemon.’”
This iMac class action lawsuit is seeking to represent anyone who purchased a 27-inch model iMac equipped with a LG LED-backlit display on or before Nov. 30, 2012. It alleges that Apple purposely advertised its computers as being of higher quality and with a longer life-span than what was actually true. According to the class action lawsuit, Apple did this to increase its profits.
According to the lawsuit, iMacs customers were left having to pay for the repair bills instead of Apple acknowledging the defect and taking responsibility for it.
“Apple refuses to acknowledge this display dimming effect,” the class action lawsuit states. “Although Apple received several hundred or thousand complaints about this particular defect . . . Apple remained silent.”
The class action lawsuit alleges Apple has violated the Consumer Legal Remedies Act, the Unfair Competition Law, and the California Business and Professions Code.
The plaintiff is represented by Eric H. Biggs, Dylan S. Hughes and Caitlyn D. Finley of Girard Gibbs LLP.
The Apple iMac Screen Defect Class Action Lawsuit is Rasmussen, et al. v. Apple Inc., Case No. 13-cv-4923, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.
UPDATE: A California federal judge dismissed the Apple iMac Screen Defect Class Action Lawsuit on March 14, 2014, after finding the advertising claims to be “mere puffery” and not actionable as false advertising. The plaintiff will have 30 days to amend his claims and file a new class action lawsuit addressing the judge’s concerns.
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