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."

Tag: lawsuit

Top Rated Comments

MH01 Avatar
56 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
56 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
56 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
56 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
56 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
56 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)

Top Stories

Top Stories 44 Feature

Top Stories: 'Thinner and Lighter' MacBook Air, Smaller iPhone 13 Notch, iOS 14.4 Incoming

Saturday January 23, 2021 6:00 am PST by
We continued to hear a lot more about Apple's plans for its Mac lineup this week, including word of a high-end redesigned MacBook Air and the return of an SD card slot as part of the upcoming MacBook Pro redesign. It also sounds like Apple has been working on Face ID for Mac, but it won't be appearing in a redesigned iMac this year as originally planned. This week also saw rumors about the...
magsafecasedangle

Apple Elaborates on Potential for iPhone 12 and MagSafe Accessories to Interfere With Implantable Medical Devices

Saturday January 23, 2021 2:42 pm PST by
Since the launch of iPhone 12 models in October, Apple has acknowledged that the devices may cause electromagnetic interference with medical devices like pacemakers and defibrillators, but the company has now shared additional information. Apple added the following paragraph to a related support document today:Medical devices such as implanted pacemakers and defibrillators might contain...
Flat MacBook Air Feature

Bloomberg: Apple Working on 'Thinner and Lighter' High-End MacBook Air With MagSafe, Could Launch in Second Half of 2021

Friday January 22, 2021 3:34 am PST by
Apple is working on a "thinner and lighter" version of the MacBook Air that the company plans to release during the second half of this year at the earliest or in 2022, according to a new report by well-connected Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman. It will include Apple's MagSafe charging technology and a next-generation version of the company's in-house Mac processors. Apple has discussed...
2021 mbp sd slot feature2

Bloomberg: Next MacBook Pro to Feature SD Card Reader

Friday January 22, 2021 7:50 am PST by
Last week, reputable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo outlined his expectations for new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models later this year, including the return of the MagSafe charging connector, the removal of the Touch Bar, a new flat-edged design, and the return of more ports built into the notebooks for expanded connectivity. A concept of a modern MacBook Pro with an SD card reader Kuo did not...
airpods galaxy buds comparison

Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro vs. Apple AirPods Pro

Friday January 22, 2021 2:34 pm PST by
Samsung in January unveiled new flagship Galaxy S21 smartphones and alongside the new phones, introduced the $200 Galaxy Buds Pro, which are priced at $199 and offer Active Noise Cancellation. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. These new Galaxy Buds Pro are clearly designed to compete with Apple's AirPods Pro, so we thought we'd compare the two sets of earbuds in our...
maxresdefault

Microsoft Touts Surface Pro 7 as 'The Better Choice' Over MacBook Pro in New Ad

Saturday January 23, 2021 11:02 am PST by
Microsoft yesterday shared a new ad on YouTube titled "Microsoft Surface Pro 7: The Better Choice," in which the company compares its tablet computer to Apple's 13-inch M1 MacBook Pro, as spotted by MSPoweruser. The ad highlights the Surface Pro 7's touchscreen and included stylus as opposed to only a "little bar" (the Touch Bar) on the MacBook Pro. Other advantages of the Surface Pro 7...
iOS 15 icon mock banner

iOS 15 Rumored to Drop Support for iPhone 6s and 2016 iPhone SE

Thursday January 21, 2021 11:58 am PST by
Apple's upcoming iOS 15 operating system, which we expect to see unveiled in June, is rumored to be dropping support for a few of Apple's older iPhones. According to French site iPhoneSoft, iOS 15 will not be able to be installed on the iPhone 6s, the iPhone 6s Plus, or the 2016 iPhone SE, all of which have an A9 chip. The iPhone 6s and 6s Plus were introduced in 2015 and are now more...
maxresdefault

Video Demos macOS Catalina Running on iPad Pro via x86 Emulation

Thursday January 21, 2021 11:36 am PST by
A video demonstrating macOS Catalina running on a current 2020 iPad Pro has been shared on YouTube, giving us a look at an interesting hack that has a Mac OS up and working on one of Apple's iPads. There's limited information about how the process of getting macOS Catalina on an iPad Pro works, but it uses x86 emulation and was done through the UTM software that allows virtual machines to...
iPhone 13 Notch Feature

iPhone 13 Rumored to Feature Smaller Notch, Pro Model Cameras to Use Larger Image Sensor

Thursday January 21, 2021 1:38 am PST by
Apple's iPhone 13 series will feature a redesigned Face ID system that will allow for a smaller notch at the top of the screen, according to a new report today. The rumor comes via hit-and-miss Taiwanese industry publication DigiTimes, whose supply chain sources also claim that the ultra wide-angle lens in Apple's next-generation iPhones is due for an upgrade. The next-generation iPhones'...
iOS 14

Apple Seeds iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 Release Candidate to Developers and Public Beta Testers

Thursday January 21, 2021 10:14 am PST by
Apple today seeded the RC version of upcoming iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 updates to developers for testing purposes, with the new betas coming a week after Apple released the second betas. iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 can be downloaded through the Apple Developer Center or over the air after the proper profile has been installed on an iPhone or iPad. Paired with the HomePod 14.4 beta that is...