Apple iPhone users who signed up for a program to pay extra with the promise of receiving the latest device each year have filed a class action for a breach of contract claiming that they’ve been told to wait longer for their new gadgets than they should.
In a proposed federal class action filed this week filed filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California by Emil Frank, a Brooklyn resident who participated in Apple's "iPhone Upgrade Program," attorneys claim that Apple breached its contract when Frank and others were unable to pre-order the new iPhone 7 prior to its release in stores.
The suit claims that participants who had paid into the program were given a lower priority than ordinary buyers when ordering from Apple, resulting in participants having to make additional payments on older phones while they waited in limbo. Additionally, claimants allege that this delay in ordering the iPhone 7 through the "iPhone Upgrade Program" means that participants will not be able to purchase the next-generation iPhone 8 next year immediately when it launches because the participants would be ineligible for an upgrade within one year after the acquisition of the previous device.
A "class action" lawsuit is one in which a group of people with the same or similar injuries caused by the same product or action sue the defendant as a group. Under federal law, the rules governing class actions are found in Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23. Depending upon the type of class action, resolution of the lawsuit would bind all members of a class that was previously certified by the Court. Class action lawsuits are designed to advance several important public policy goals. It is often the sole means of enabling persons to remedy injustices committed by powerful, multi-million dollar corporations and institutions.
In this particular claim, the proposed class is anyone who joined this upgrade program prior to the release of the iPhone 7 in September of 2016 and fulfilled their obligation to make 12 monthly payments on their phone.
*Gene Berardelli may be contacted at: GeneBerardelli@ipglegal.com.
Gene is a New York street-smart attorney with an extreme passion for success. Gene specializes in litigation, arbitration and general corporate law for New York-based and international clients. He, also, is the host of a popular New York talk radio program.