$53 Million iPhone/iPod Touch Liquid Damage Settlement
Chimicles Schwartz Kriner & Donaldson-Smith LLP (CSK&D) is court-appointed co-lead counsel in the In re Apple iPhone/iPod Warranty Litigation pending in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. Plaintiffs in the action alleged that Apple improperly denied warranty coverage for their iPhone and iPod Touch devices based on “Liquid Submersion Indicators” (LSIs) placed in the headphone jack and/or docking connector of certain iPhone and iPod Touch models. LSIs are small paper-ink laminates, akin to litmus paper, which are designed to turn red upon exposure to liquid. Apple placed the external LSIs in the headphone jack and/or dock connector of certain iPhone and iPod Touch devices and would deny warranty coverage if either LSI had turned pink or red. Plaintiffs alleged that external LSIs are not a reliable indicator of liquid damage or abuse and, therefore, Apple should have provided warranty coverage. Apple changed its policy in 2009 for iPhones and in 2010 for iPod Touch devices to no longer deny coverage solely based on an external LSI.
In 2014 the Court approved a national settlement in which Apple agreed to pay $53 million to settle the case. The average payment to Settlement Class Members was approximately $241 per iPhone/iPod touch, which represented about 117% of the replacement costs for those devices.