Three More Law Firms Join Class Action Lawsuit Against Apple Over iPhone 6 'Touch Disease'

Three additional law firms have joined a class action lawsuit against Apple over an alleged defect that causes iPhone 6 Plus touchscreens to become unresponsive and fail.

Back in August, reports began appearing from iPhone 6 owners describing an apparently latent manufacturing issue that causes a flickering bar to appear at the top of the screen and the display to become unresponsive or less responsive to touch.


A week later, three iPhone 6 owners filed a complaint with the U.S. District Court of Northern California after their devices presented symptoms of the problem – dubbed "touch disease" by repair website iFixit – which Apple has yet to publicly acknowledge.

Yesterday, Motherboard reported that lawyers who filed the class action complaint earlier this fall have now signed on three additional law firms to support their case, while an additional class action lawsuit related to the issue has been filed against Apple in Utah.

Richard McCune, an attorney in the California case, said he has been contacted by 10,000 people asking to join the suit, which accuses Apple of violating the state's consumer fraud statutes, negligent misrepresentation, breach of implied warranty, unjust enrichment, and other consumer act violations.

The "touch disease" flaw is thought to be caused by the touchscreen controller chips soldered to the iPhone's logic board losing contact after a period of normal usage, because of Apple's failure to incorporate a metal shield. So far, Apple has refused to repair the out-of-warranty iPhones without charge when the defect manifests. Worse, replacement refurbished handsets costing owners $329 have reportedly shown symptoms of the same problem within days or weeks of being issued.

iPhone-5s-metal-shield
Motherboard claims five separate current and former Apple Geniuses have confirmed that Apple is aware of the problem but will not tell customers about it.

However, Apple's filed response to the most recent Utah complaint appears at least to signal a legal acknowledgement of the issue and the company's lawyers have requested an "extension of time to respond to the Complaint" and asked that the Utah and California cases be combined into one.

Given the similarity between the [Utah] and [California] actions, it would unnecessarily tax judicial resources if these actions were to proceed in separate class action lawsuits—especially where the [Utah] and [California] Plaintiffs purport to represent the same putative class of all consumers who purchased an iPhone 6 or 6 Plus.

On Friday, McCune filed an updated lawsuit against Apple that includes several new plaintiffs and formally adds the three separate law firms to the legal battle. "Each of the firms (who had their own clients) brings strength to the case, including Stephen Larson of Larson O'Brien, who is a former Federal Judge," McCune told Motherboard. "With these firms working with us, we believe it gives us the best chance of obtaining a positive result in the case for the owners of the phones."

Related Forum: iPhone

Top Rated Comments

MH01 Avatar
74 months ago
This will lead to a repair program. People who experience this in the future will appreciate the efforts of those pushing apple at the moment to acknowledge the issue and take action. This is a rinse and repeat of previous issues like the nvidia GPUs in MacBooks
Score: 45 Votes (Like | Disagree)
macjunk(ie) Avatar
74 months ago
Apple vs Samsung...Choose your poison.
Both companies are stubborn...refusing to accept design flaws in their product...come what may. Such a shame!
Score: 30 Votes (Like | Disagree)
JungleNYC Avatar
74 months ago
Well I doubt this was worth the 0.4mm or whatever thickness savings it was to drop the metal shield. I'm sure some will think it was. Hopefully this will result in less short-sightedness in the future regarding the subject.
Exactly.

I've certainly rolled my eyes in the past over the previous class action suits (you're holding it wrong, etc) but this one feels legit. I know several people who's phones are suffering from this, mine included. And when the marketplace can organize to protect itself, it's a good thing.

I keep a nice, clean, phone, and never-ever even dropped my 6 (got lucky this round). And this started happening to me in August…out of warranty, and just in time for the 7, even though I would've waited till next year had the phone kept working properly. Now, that wasn't terrible…just inconvenient, and expensive…but the other issue is that this "touch disease" renders my 6 un-sellable, so I can't recoup any $$$ to offset the purchase of the new 7.

Again, lawyers and class actions can certainly be skeevy, but they generally serve a purpose. And sometimes (perhaps in this case) they will do what they are designed to do: 1) hold companies accountable for bad decisions and make them think twice in the future, and 2) giving consumers a bit of relief without them having to spend their own time and effort to pursue an individual resolution.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Samford Avatar
74 months ago
Greedy Apple vs Horny Suers.
Really just shows how poor consumer laws are in the USA that you have to resort to lawyers.
Apple know they won't get away with this smoke screen in Australia.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
sracer Avatar
74 months ago
Lawyers aren't always awesome, and class actions can be flawed, but I would much rather the private sector police itself than give yet more power and money to the government bureaucracy.
Sounds good in theory, but in practice... not so much.

Should Apple come out and admit that the problem exists, they'll claim that "only a handful of people" are affected. They'll most likely set up a replacement program for those affected. "affected" as in , "bring the phone in to an Apple store and if it fails some predetermined test then it will be replaced, but if to doesn't, too bad". The replacement unit will have the same flaws and will eventually fail at some later point (AFTER the expiration date of the program).

There are way too many units out in the field to man-up and declare a recall. Apple will set up the replacement program, people will rejoice over Apple "doing the right thing", damage control complete. The losers will be those who have phones that fail after the expiration date (or whose replacement phones fail again). And some will say, "well, 2-3 years is long enough lifespan for a flagship phone."
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
skinned66 Avatar
74 months ago
Well I doubt this was worth the 0.4mm or whatever thickness savings it was to drop the metal shield. I'm sure some will think it was. Hopefully this will result in less short-sightedness in the future regarding the subject.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iPhone 14 Pro Purple Front and Back MacRumors Exclusive

iPhone 14 Pro Renders Highlight Multiple Design Changes

Wednesday May 25, 2022 8:56 am PDT by
Leaker Jon Prosser today shared ostensibly accurate renders of the iPhone 14 Pro, providing the most accurate look yet at what the device could look like when it launches later this year. In the latest video on YouTube channel Front Page Tech, Prosser revealed renders of the iPhone 14 Pro made by Apple concept graphic designer Ian Zelbo, highlighting a range of specific design changes...
iPhone 13 Always On Feature

iPhone 14 Pro Screen Refresh Rate Upgrade Could Allow for Always-On Display

Tuesday May 24, 2022 7:23 am PDT by
Last year's iPhone 13 Pro models were the first of Apple's smartphones to come with 120Hz ProMotion displays, and while the two iPhone 14 Pro models will continue to feature the technology, their screens could well boast expanded refresh rate variability this time round. To bring ProMotion displays to the ‌iPhone 13 Pro models‌, Apple adopted LTPO panel technology with variable refresh...
iPad Pro USB C Feature Coral

Deals: Apple's iPad Pro Reaches Up to $449 Off in Amazon's Latest Sales

Wednesday May 25, 2022 10:09 am PDT by
Amazon is marking down a wide variety of 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models this week, with prices starting as low as $749.00 for the 11-inch tablet. You'll find the full list of sales below, all of which can be found on Amazon. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep...
apple account card

Wallet App Now Supports Apple Account Cards on iOS 15.5

Wednesday May 25, 2022 5:01 pm PDT by
Apple appears to have recently updated the Wallet app to allow users to add an Apple Account Card, which displays the Apple credit balance associated with an Apple ID. If you receive an App Store or Apple Store gift card, for example, it is added to an Apple Account that was previously visible in the App Store and Apple Store apps. As of today, the Apple Account balance can also be added to...
Apple Tap to Pay iPhone

Apple Stores Rolling Out iPhone-to-iPhone Contactless Payments Starting Today

Wednesday May 25, 2022 6:54 am PDT by
Apple in February unveiled a new "Tap to Pay on iPhone" feature that will allow compatible iPhones to accept payments via Apple Pay, contactless credit and debit cards, and other digital wallets, with no additional hardware required. Apple began testing the feature at its Apple Park Visitor Center earlier this month, and now Bloomberg's Mark Gurman has tweeted that the feature will begin...
apple wwdc 2022

Apple Shares WWDC 2022 Schedule, Keynote to Take Place June 6 at 10:00 a.m PT

Tuesday May 24, 2022 9:06 am PDT by
Apple today confirmed that the keynote event for the Worldwide Developers Conference will begin at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time on June 6, the first day of WWDC. The keynote will be an online-only event, though a select number of developers have been invited to the Apple Park campus for a viewing event. In addition to confirming the keynote date and time, Apple has shared the full WWDC 2022...