A federal appeals court in San Francisco has rejected Apple’s US310 million settlement of claims that the tech giant disguised certain iPhone battery defects by throttling their system performance, reports Bloomberg Law.
In March 2020, Apple agreed to settle litigation accusing it of quietly slowing down older iPhones to induce owners to by replacement phones or batteries. The “Batterygate” lawsuit alleged that Apple’s actions violated Consumer Protection Act legislation. In December 2017 Apple published an apology letter to customers in regards to “Batterygate” for slowing down older phones to compensate for erratic battery performance.
However, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit vacated a decision approving the agreement, which handed more than $80 million to counsel for the iPhone users who led the case, according to Bloomberg Law. Although a lower court judge “took great care” in evaluating the deal, he applied the wrong legal standard, the appeals court said.
Judge Jacqueline H. Nguyen, writing for the Ninth Circuit, said there was no need for the court to look closely at most of the specific arguments put forward by iPhone users who opted out of the settlement and objected to its terms. That’s because Judge Edward J. Davila stated explicitly that he applied a “presumption of fairness” to the settlement, Nguyen said.
According to AppleInsider, the district court will now presumably proceed to reissuing its approval, citing the correct legal standards. However, no further details or dates have been issued.