Two iPhone owners struck out in their attempt to sue Apple and AT&T over an alleged conspiracy to conceal evidence of a defective cable inside the phone that caused the on-off switch to malfunction.
In a Wednesday ruling in Los Angeles US District Judge Gary Feess threw out a case in which the iPhone owners claimed the power button in the iPhone 4 and 4s would stick, and asked to start a national class action. The suit mirrors another federal action in California this year in which another iPhone 4 owner presented evidence from comment boards and YouTube to show a “wiggly” power button (the second case is still tied in procedural matters).
In this week’s ruling (below), the judge states that Apple had no obligation to disclose defects that arose after the warranty for the phone expired. He added it was “speculative” to claim that a faulty power button represented a safety hazard:
Certainly being stranded in a broken down car, where there may not even be cell service, is as speculative a safety concern as being stranded with a broken phone.
The lawsuit, which began in state court last year , also named phone carrier AT&T as a defendant under a federal racketeering statute known as RICO. It claimed that AT&T and Apple had conspired to conceal the defect so that they could sell more phones in the period before customers’ contracts ran out.
An earlier version of this story stated this week’s ruling came in response to a later lawsuit filed in San Jose; as described above, that second lawsuit, which describes similar facts, is ongoing. This week’s ruling was issued in Los Angeles, not San Jose as previously stated.
You can read a copy of the Minutes in Chamber, spotted by Law360, for yourself here: