In the past several years, as we saw with "Dukes v. WalMart," the class action has been taking it on the chin. In that case, the U.S. Supreme Court failed to give the litigation class certification.
The argument was that WalMart management was too decentralized to allow creation of gender discrimination policies at the store level.
Now, plaintiffs in class actions might have a better shot at certification - and victory. This could usher in a new golden age of litigation in the U.S. Since the crash, litigation has been a flat practice in many law firms.
The lawsuits against Apple could be that game-changer.
The public can begin to think: Hey, the very real threat of class-action lawsuits could prevent alleged misrepresentation like the supposed "upgrade" Apple provided for older versions such as iPhone 6 (then 7).
In reality, the battery slowed down the phone's performance. Some frustrated users wound up purchasing a new version. Such a transaction is expensive. Only last week did Apple make public the reason why users were experiencing the slow-down.
Well, as Celia Ampel reports in the National Law Journal, the class-action lawsuits have begun. Eventually they could be consolidated into a multidistrict one.
In Florida, for example, law firm Podhurst Orseck filed class-action federal litigation. It is similar to that filed against Apple in Illinois and California.
As Ampel explains:
"The lawsuit alleges the company knew it was rolling out a 'concealed battery-life killer,' but didn't disclose the issue to consumers until last week. The claims include violation of the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices, unjust enrichment, breach of contract and violations of California law [where Apple is based]."
Podhurst Orseck is an experienced player in multidistrict class counsel.
This consolidated lawsuit can become sufficiently interesting and high profile to educate the public about the innate value of class action litigation. Together, they can go in search of those they can file. Such a mindset could keep business on the right side of the law as well as ethical behavior.
Prediction: This class action could take on the role of Ralph Nader in the 20th century who used the legal system to create new protections for consumers.
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