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Apple wins lawsuit over faulty iMac screens

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A federal court in California has sided with Apple(s aapl) against a music teacher who claimed his $2,259 iMac was an “iLemon” because half of the computer’s 27 inch screen went dim after 18 months.

In a decision published last week in San Jose, U.S. District Judge Edward Chen thew out the teacher’s class action complaint, noting that Apple’s claims about the iMac’s “big, beautiful displays” and “long productive life” did not amount to false advertising because the claims were “mere puffery.”

Chen also ruled that Apple may have known about the defect, which made the computers unsuitable for web browsing, but that it was not obliged to disclose the fault to customers if it fell outside the warranty period and did not create a safety issue. The judge also pointed out that the music teacher had no standing to bring the case since the defect in his iMac appeared after the 12 month warranty expired.

As a result, the teacher and others like him are stuck paying the $500 that Apple charged for repairs. The company did not immediately reply to an email request for comment.

This is the second defective product lawsuit that Apple has dodged in the last month. In February, an Oakland court threw out a class action against iPhone voice assistant Siri, once again on grounds that claims about Siri’s abilities were “mere puffery” — an old legal term used to distinguish between real promises and ad lingo.

You can read the case, which was spotted by Law360, below. The judge gave the plaintiff 30 days to amend his complaint and try again.

iMac Class Action Ruling

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15 Responses to “Apple wins lawsuit over faulty iMac screens”

  1. Imperfect World

    What is wrong with you people???
    There are two things going on here that the terminally daft don’t appear to grasp.
    1. All devices, including electronics, are subject to failure. Pens stop working, stoves stop heating food, nightlights blow bulbs and even Hondas break down. Apple devices are not perfect, but as with Honda, the odds of your Mac failing are simply less. If you read publications that track reliability you’ll find that Apple usually ranks highest.
    2. Repeat this after me: My personal experience is not the foreshadowing of a worrying trend. Say this silently in your head the next time your carpet cleaner quits.
    Liberals sue companies all the time, Californians being the most litigious people in the entire world.
    Buy the warranty and get a grip.

    • mike154

      My thinking is fine, thanks.

      I don’t expect any device to last forever. I don’t expect any US court to rule against Apple.

      I do expect a company to give reasonable support to customers.

      As they would have to in the UK and EU. Without purchasing something extra on top of an already expensive purchase. YMMV.

      • Richard Walsh

        Reasonable support? How about responsible consumers. They were beyond the 12 month warranty period.

        In my own personal experience if I am spending more than $ 500 on a product I get the extended warranty (e.x AppleCare). This saved my @$$ several times especially with my PowerMac G5 when the logic board went. The $ 200 AC saved me an $5000 repair at the time (issue was my own fault not a fault of the product). Plus an addition $ 500 in additional repairs later.

        Be smart, you’re spending a lot of money on a piece of hardware that as @imperfect world stated, breaks down.

        It’s not the companies fault in 90% of these cases, and apple’s support has been nothing if not great every time I have dealt with them. From Burn-in issues, to unresponsive devices.

      • Imperfect World

        Sorry Mike, your thinking is far from fine.
        It’s sadly typical of the bizarre and unrealistic view of Apple and consumer products in general, and the (also bizarre) habit people have of formulating opinions even when facts prove their views to be faulty.
        Apple tops just about *every* poll that rates reliability, customer satisfaction and customer retention, but here you are reiterating the same spurious ideas.
        This makes no sense.
        Also, Britons may not be aware that in California -the most litigious State in the US- frivolous lawsuits are very, very common. Lawsuits get thrown out all the time, but you only hear about the bigger ones.
        Any company, large or small, has a duty to defend itself from greedy lawyers and the idiots that hire them. Once you get to Apple’s size you’re silly a bigger target.
        The implication that Apple can’t be sued in the US is as daft as assuming that no Apple product will ever fail.
        Daft is the wrong word, but I’m being polite.

    • Rann Xeroxx

      Repeat this after me: Everything Apple says is “puffery”. Retina = puffery. It just works = puffery. Quality materials = puffery.

      That you are actually getting the quality that you are paying for = puffery.

      • I Can Spel

        Repeat after me: “I have no idea what I’m talking about.”
        One liberal judge said a company’s ad copy was ‘puffery’. From that one quote you gather that the products themselves are lacking?
        Let me guess, you think the moon landing was a hoax too, right.
        Do you watch ads?? They’re *all* puffery.
        My dear chap, Apple gear has been rated best by Consumer Reports, DJ Power, PCMagazine, etc. etc. for years.

    • Reynaldo

      You are truly ignorant. My imac display went bad after 13 months. The HDD failed twice and it mysteriously reboots every so often. Apple knew about the issue yet decided to F consumers over. Very unethical company. I also have a MacBook which has been ok except for the occasional Overheating. Have an HP and Dell laptop that are over 4 yrs old and never has an issue with them. Not very impressed with Apple so far. Don’t believe the hype. Buying an Apple is like buying a tesla car…it looks cool but you are really a dumbass for wasting your money due to low ROI.

  2. My iMac has a faulty screen. I got it repaired just before my warranty expired; less than a year later, the exact same problem is back. My Dad’s iMac did the exact same thing. The only Apple product I’ve ever been disappointed in…

  3. mike154

    What a surprise. When have they lost a case in the US?

    Disgraceful treatment of customers, who should now take any product/service description with a pinch of salt. Two courts have now said so.

    Couldn’t happen in the EU.

    Whatever the manufacturer’s warranty, by law they have to give at least 2 years cover here.

    • Rann Xeroxx

      I have a iMac 27″ but only because it was surplus at my company and I need to support Apple products so they gave it to me. Personally I think all in ones are pointless unless they are the big touch tablet like ones such as the Dell 18. Why merge an expensive computer with an expensive screen when one or the other can go out making both useless. Heck, I would not even mind them if they just had a video in to use the screen as a monitor or a out to use the PC (well, that second part would look rather dumb).

      But Apple people are crazy.