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Lawsuits & Litigation

Apple Settles Powerbeats2 Class-Action Suit for $9.75M

— August 28, 2020

Apple recently agreed to settle a class-action lawsuit over its Powerbeats2 wireless earphones for $9.75 million.

Apple recently announced a settlement ending a class-action lawsuit filed over the company’s Powerbeats2 wireless earphones. According to the suit, the earphones “contain a design defect that causes the device to stop retaining a charge.” The complaint was originally filed in the Superior Court of California by Latanya Simmons and Kevin Tobin back in 2017 on behalf of a wider class of device owners. The suit centered around the product’s “robustness, waterproofness, and battery life claims, all of which were claimed to be false.”

Apple Park, the corporate headquarters of Apple Inc., located in Cupertino, California
Apple Park, the corporate headquarters of Apple Inc., located in Cupertino, California; image courtesy of Daniel L. Lu via Wikimedia Commons,

The suit argued that “during the course of ownership, the product failed to charge or turn on after a short amount of time.” Additionally, the suit claimed “breach of express warranty, breach of the Song-Beverly Act, violation of the California Consumers Legal Remedies Act, violation of the Unfair Competition Law, unjust enrichment, common law fraud, and negligence.”

Though the settlement was agreed to back in January, preliminary approval was signed on August 7 and detailed out the specifics of the agreement. In total, Apple agreed to pay out $9.75 million as part of the agreement. 

A similar class-action suit was filed a couple of years ago in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California over identical allegations. Though it was given permission to proceed in 2018, the case was “dismissed in April following the word of Apple’s settlement in superior court.”

Shortly after the preliminary approval was signed, lawyers representing the plaintiffs began the task of notifying potential class members earlier this week via email. To be eligible for benefits, customers had to have purchased Powerbeats2 prior to the Aug. 7 order. At the moment, potential claimants have until November 20, 2020, to “submit a claim, file an exclusion from the settlement or enter an objection.”

Just how much money will each claimant receive, though? Well, according to the agreement, the amount “will be meted out on a points system…authorized claimants with no proof of purchase and record of repair receive one point, while those with a valid proof of purchase or warranty repair receive two points.” From there, the “net settlement will then be divided by total points claimed, with individual awards calculated from that amount.” In total, claimants are able to claim a maximum payout of “$189 multiplied by the number of the number of valid proofs of purchase.”

Of the $9.75 million, about $3,250,000 will go towards attorneys’ fees and $516,000 will cover administrative costs. The final hearing regarding the matter is scheduled for January 21, 2021.


Apple is paying $9.75M to settle Powerbeats2 class action lawsuit

Apple agrees to pay $9.75M settlement over alleged Powerbeats 2 ‘design defect’

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