Death Grip Lawsuit Coming?
A law firm that's known for starting or threatening class actions against tech companies now has its sights on Apple. Sacramento, California-based Kershaw, Cutter & Ratinoff is trying to put together a group of customers who are having reception issues with the iPhone 4 for a potential class-action lawsuit. On top of a lawsuit over the iPad 3G bait-and-switch
, Apple's lawyers should have a busy summer.
Kershaw, Cutter & Ratinoff, LLP is conducting what the law firm calls a "Consumer Investigation
" into the reception problems now known as the "iPhone 4 Death Grip." Their website urges people who “recently purchased the new iPhone and have experienced poor reception quality, dropped calls and weak signals” to contact them by phone, live chat, and email. Although they're not talking lawsuit at this time, it's clear that's what the "investigation" is about.
The firm has initiated a number high-profile class-action lawsuits, and won a $87 million US wage settlement for drivers with the package delivery company UPS. And last year, Kershaw, Cutter & Ratinoff filed a nationwide class action suit
over deceptive “offer” ads in games like Mafia Wars and Farmville. KCR may have some reason to think that Apple is a prime target for a suit given that they had settled a class action for $22.5 million last year to end complaints that the original iPod nano was unusually susceptible to scratching.
Apple's official response to the Death Grip issue is still to just tell customers not to hold their iPhones in a way that lowers signal. Steve Jobs said explicitly in an email to a customer that "[t]here is no reception issue
." Despite rumors of a firmware patch,
no further action on the problem has even been hinted at by the manufacturer, which is generally silent about issues (like the 27-inch iMac screen glitches) until they have a fix in place. As Steve Jobs added in his email: "Stay tuned
Thanks to all the tipsters who sent this in.