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  • 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.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Death Grip Lawsuit Coming? started by Paul Daniel Ash View original post
    Comments 103 Comments
    1. dhamien's Avatar
      dhamien -
      Quote Originally Posted by Moosestache View Post
      Well thats not quite right. If you really loved the coffee the maker made, and you were told, gee just wait a little while and we will have a fix that makes it work correctly
      Quote Originally Posted by Moosestache View Post
      People like you don't get it. We have either 14 or 30 days to make a decision on the damn phone. Apple hasn't even made an official statement whether or not there is a problem, so know some of us are down to 7 or 8 days.
      Apple hasn't asked you to wait. They've specifically said that there's nothing wrong with the phone and that you shouldn't expect any kind of fix. I really don't see how it can any more official than the CEO, Steve Jobs, tells everyone that the phone is fine and if you're having issues, just to hold the phone differently.

      No one's stringing you along. No one's trying to get you past the return date. Everything is perfectly clear, you just don't want to face it and that's not really Apple's problem. That would just be yours.

      Quote Originally Posted by Moosestache View Post
      It's also not really just a cell phone, it is a tool that I use for business every day. A tool that I am entering into a contract with a company for two years, which will, for all intents lock me into the use of that phone for those two years, at a cost of over $1200 for that time frame.
      So return it. I'm sure your business will survive being run on a 3GS and not on a 4.
    1. Moosestache's Avatar
      Moosestache -
      Quote Originally Posted by dhamien View Post
      Apple hasn't asked you to wait. They've specifically said that there's nothing wrong with the phone and that you shouldn't expect any kind of fix. I really don't see how it can any more official than the CEO, Steve Jobs, tells everyone that the phone is fine and if you're having issues, just to hold the phone differently.

      No one's stringing you along. No one's trying to get you past the return date. Everything is perfectly clear, you just don't want to face it and that's not really Apple's problem. That would just be yours.
      Actually, you are wrong. Apple hasn't officially stated anything yet. I have been told by my apple rep handling my case that there is something wrong.
    1. dhamien's Avatar
      dhamien -
      Quote Originally Posted by Moosestache View Post
      Actually, you are wrong. Apple hasn't officially stated anything yet. I have been told by my apple rep handling my case that there is something wrong.
      So when Apple's CEO, Steve Jobs, says that there's nothing wrong, you don't count that as official. Fair enough ...
    1. Moosestache's Avatar
      Moosestache -
      Actually, I have seen that quote called into question for it's authenticity in a number of places. You do realize, I could post an email here and tell you it was from Mr. Jobs when it actually wasn't, right??

      Right now Apple is in shut down mode to the public, trying to figure out what to do. I figure it will go one of two ways.

      1. It is fixable and they either end up with a software patch, or agree to send out bumpers which either fixes or ends up making the problem livable. I hope this is what happens, but the clock is really ticking on this one.

      2. They go into full denial mode. We get official statements from apple saying there is no problem, it is acting as it is supposed to, and go f*ck yourselves. You say that this is what they have already done, I don't think so, they may, but a supposed email from Steve Jobs doesn't really make anything final, he's just trying to pump the phones out the door,knowing that people won't want to cancel their orders.

      If #2 occurs that is when the lawsuits will really start.
    1. dr.winmac's Avatar
      dr.winmac -
      An Apple rep by the name of Jason H. (whom I know personally) out of Northglenn, CO confirmed to me yesterday that the entire staff under the manager who sent out the leaked email, was in fact fired. When I asked why, he simply stated that no one on the team would admit to it so the entire team was fired. It is a stark reality as to the nature of Apple. They are fully willing to overturn the lives, of not only the guilty, but the innocent as well to cover there butts. Tisk tisk Steve Jobs.. Oh how the mighty have fallen.
    1. nicksti's Avatar
      nicksti -
      Quote Originally Posted by dhamien View Post
      That's also a bad analogy. If you lose half your cup of coffee, you've lost something. If you talk to someone on the phone, you won't feel a difference if it's 100% reception or 50%. The talk is what is valuable, not the "cleanness" of the sound. If half the words were cut from the conversation, then the analogy would work, but that's not the case here.

      In any case, the guy you quoted is still right. If you bought a coffee maker where half the coffee was lost just by holding the cup, then you'd return it and get your money back. You wouldn't sue anyone.
      100% to 50%? That is a convenient scenario. What about the masses that are seeing 0% and dropped calls? So if the most used feature of a cellphone is to talk and you cannot do that if you hold it a certain way then we have a problem.

      From Wikipedia:
      The procedure for filing a class action is to file suit with one or several named plaintiffs on behalf of a proposed class. The proposed class must consist of a group of individuals or business entities that have suffered a common injury or injuries. Typically these cases result from an action on the part of a business or a particular product defect or policy that applied to all proposed class members in a uniform manner. After the complaint is filed, the plaintiff must file a motion to have the class certified. In some cases class certification may require additional discovery in order to determine if the proposed class meets the standard for class certification.

      We will see what happens but if:
      1. There is a legit problem with the iPhone
      2. Apple does not recall said iPhone

      Then you will see a lawsuit. There will be enough people that will consider software updates and bumpers unacceptable. We will see.
    1. dhamien's Avatar
      dhamien -
      Quote Originally Posted by nicksti View Post
      100% to 50%? That is a convenient scenario. What about the masses that are seeing 0% and dropped calls? So if the most used feature of a cellphone is to talk and you cannot do that if you hold it a certain way then we have a problem.

      From Wikipedia:
      The procedure for filing a class action is to file suit with one or several named plaintiffs on behalf of a proposed class. The proposed class must consist of a group of individuals or business entities that have suffered a common injury or injuries. Typically these cases result from an action on the part of a business or a particular product defect or policy that applied to all proposed class members in a uniform manner. After the complaint is filed, the plaintiff must file a motion to have the class certified. In some cases class certification may require additional discovery in order to determine if the proposed class meets the standard for class certification.

      We will see what happens but if:
      1. There is a legit problem with the iPhone
      2. Apple does not recall said iPhone

      Then you will see a lawsuit. There will be enough people that will consider software updates and bumpers unacceptable. We will see.
      How about returning it if you're unsatisfied? Seriously, what's wrong with you? If you're not happy with it, return it. It's that simple.

      People like you just blow my mind.
    1. zturn13's Avatar
      zturn13 -
      Quote Originally Posted by nicksti View Post
      100% to 50%? That is a convenient scenario. What about the masses that are seeing 0% and dropped calls? So if the most used feature of a cellphone is to talk and you cannot do that if you hold it a certain way then we have a problem.

      From Wikipedia:
      The procedure for filing a class action is to file suit with one or several named plaintiffs on behalf of a proposed class. The proposed class must consist of a group of individuals or business entities that have suffered a common injury or injuries. Typically these cases result from an action on the part of a business or a particular product defect or policy that applied to all proposed class members in a uniform manner. After the complaint is filed, the plaintiff must file a motion to have the class certified. In some cases class certification may require additional discovery in order to determine if the proposed class meets the standard for class certification.

      We will see what happens but if:
      1. There is a legit problem with the iPhone
      2. Apple does not recall said iPhone

      Then you will see a lawsuit. There will be enough people that will consider software updates and bumpers unacceptable. We will see.
      Why is software updates unacceptable? if it is a problem with the iOS then why do a hardware recall?
    1. Moosestache's Avatar
      Moosestache -
      Quote Originally Posted by dhamien View Post
      How about returning it if you're unsatisfied? Seriously, what's wrong with you? If you're not happy with it, return it. It's that simple.

      People like you just blow my mind.
      Wow you have become a broken record. Enjoy your apple gear in Europe, I'm glad it makes you happy and you have no issues with it.
    1. ClerkDante's Avatar
      ClerkDante -
      Quote Originally Posted by Moosestache View Post
      Wow you have become a broken record. Enjoy your apple gear in Europe, I'm glad it makes you happy and you have no issues with it.
      The very same could be said of the "let's take up swords against our opressors" crowd. You bought something, you're not happy with it, take the damn thing back.

      You'd do it with clothes, food or virtually any other consumer goods, why does this, just this one thing, need to result in a series of mindless, pointless lawsuits to clutter up an already overwhelmed system?

      The man's just exhibiting a bit of common sense, that seems to be escaping those who feel the need to seek retribution for the horrible crime that's been committed against them.

      Really dude, if a cell phone with questionable reception is the biggest problem in your life right now, thank you lucky stars and get over yourself.
    1. dhamien's Avatar
      dhamien -
      Quote Originally Posted by ClerkDante View Post
      You'd do it with clothes, food or virtually any other consumer goods, why does this, just this one thing, need to result in a series of mindless, pointless lawsuits to clutter up an already overwhelmed system?
      This is pretty much the core. You'd just return any other product you weren't happy with, but with regards to this particular product, there's no holding back. Some people just go all out.

      If this was a case of a specific car not breaking properly or people getting electrocuted by a coffee maker they bought, then sure, sue and make sure there's recalls so no one else gets harmed. But we're talking about a phone.

      It's as if some people love their Apple so much and just can't accept it not being perfect for them, so they'd rather punish the firm than choose another product. Well, you can in fact punish the firm, if that's what you want. Return the product and don't buy from them again. Simple, no? Don't worry, Moosestache, I know you won't get it this time either.
    1. nicksti's Avatar
      nicksti -
      I doubt you know what kind of person myself or many of the people on the forum are.

      And again, the point of class action lawsuits is not because some people are bitter because they purchased a faulty product. It is fortunate for you that there are people that class action, thus forcing some companies not to try to pull as fast one over consumers.

      It is also funny that you are so ardently defending a company that has quite healthy margins off of your purchases. Think they care about you nearly as much as you care for their products?

      Class action them so that other consumers can be informed about the problems with the phone. Class action them so they will do due diligence and not come out with crap.

      And I do not own an iPhone 4. I was going to buy one, but I always wait in case there are any bugs. And I will wait until these issues are sorted out.
    1. Happy Noodle Boy's Avatar
      Happy Noodle Boy -
      How is Apple pulling a fast one on consumers again? The phone's been out for a week. That's 7 days. A flaw has been found to be present on the current design while at the same time providing a better service (the same report Anandtech presented showing the flaw also showed how if you avoid the death grip or use a cover, the 4 is better than the 3GS). A company just can't come out and say "welp, we messed up" right off the bat until they perform extensive testing.

      First off, they need to find where the problem is. They can't just say "oh it's the antenna because these people online posted a YouTube video" They need to verify all internal and hardware components to pinpoint the exact point where the issue(s) occur. Then they need to make the appropriate changes. Chances are, this will require a small hardware revision. But before you get to that step, they need to deal with the 2+ MILLION units already sold and out in the open. Can they get away with giving free covers? gift cards? design a new cover to counteract the death grip and give for free?

      So they handle current costumers however they feel like. Now it's up to look forward. Engineers gotta rework the damn thing on all steps of the way as far as design, manufacturing, and putting together while at the same time stopping production on the current 4th gen. Thankfully, this could be an easy fix so it shouldn't take THAT long, but it'll take time. In this "meantime" there won't be any iPhone 4's available AT ALL anywhere in the world. This means countries where it hasn't launch won't have them at all. Supply for repairs and refurbish units will be nonexistent.

      You're an idiot if you think Apple will come a week later after launch and take a stand on the issue. It'll take them weeks, months even before they come out and say "After EXTENSIVE research, we've found this, this, and that. Here's how we're dealing with it and what the plan is"

      A class action lawsut is going to achieve NOTHING since there's a very good chance Apple is already working on it. The reason that guy got fired is because he's leaking private corporate information. This is simply illegal whichever way you want to see it. Apple knows well this is a delicate situation and they're not going to jump into any stance without knowing 120% where the hell they stand.

      So yeah, again, I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for Apple to tell you what to do. If you're unhappy with the phone, return it and go back to your 3G/3Gs if you're insisting in sticking with the iOS.
    1. mmurphmsu's Avatar
      mmurphmsu -
      Quote Originally Posted by dhamien View Post
      Apple hasn't asked you to wait. They've specifically said that there's nothing wrong with the phone and that you shouldn't expect any kind of fix. I really don't see how it can any more official than the CEO, Steve Jobs, tells everyone that the phone is fine and if you're having issues, just to hold the phone differently.
      You shouldn't have to hold the phone differently cause it loses signal. Thats the whole point of this. Its a phone you can only hold it so many ways and if the way you have to hold it makes it lose reception then something is wrong with the phone.
    1. blainesill's Avatar
      blainesill -
      Just got this email from KCR:

      Thank you for contacting Kershaw, Cutter & Ratinoff about your iPhone 4 problems. Our firm has now filed a class action complaint in California against Apple and AT&T, seeking relief for everyone who has purchased an iPhone 4. Please email us with your contact information, and we will keep you updated on the progress of the case through email. If the case resolves in favor of iPhone 4 customers, you will receive formal notice under the supervision of the court that oversees the settlement.
      Thanks very much for contacting us, and take care.
    1. nicksti's Avatar
      nicksti -
      Quote Originally Posted by Happy Noodle Boy View Post
      How is Apple pulling a fast one on consumers again?
      I will assume you are responding to my post. Where did I say "Apple" was pulling a fast one? I did say some companies, but never said anything that would imply I said Apple was one.

      Some people associate lawsuits with greed. I spilt coffee that was too hot on myself or my favourite suit was ruined by the cleaners kind of lawsuits. There is not money to be had from a consumer standpoint in suing Apple. And it is easy to chastize people for doing these things.

      But maybe, just maybe if someone decided to wait in a long line for hours to get an iPhone 4 and then it does not work as it should they should be able to make the company pay.

      And I think we are giving Apple too much credit. I believe they are well aware of what is wrong but they are stalling. And that is probably the truth. And they have had plenty of time. People reported this problem since June 23rd.
    1. dhamien's Avatar
      dhamien -
      Quote Originally Posted by nicksti View Post
      It is also funny that you are so ardently defending a company that has quite healthy margins off of your purchases. Think they care about you nearly as much as you care for their products?
      I've bought exactly one Apple product ever, so I'm not here to defend 'my beloved company'. For me, this discussion goes beyond Apple. It's about some, and I hope I don't get too much hate for the next thing I'm going to say, Americans who think suing is the answer to everything.

      Quote Originally Posted by nicksti View Post
      I will assume you are responding to my post. Where did I say "Apple" was pulling a fast one? I did say some companies, but never said anything that would imply I said Apple was one.

      Some people associate lawsuits with greed. I spilt coffee that was too hot on myself or my favourite suit was ruined by the cleaners kind of lawsuits. There is not money to be had from a consumer standpoint in suing Apple. And it is easy to chastize people for doing these things.

      But maybe, just maybe if someone decided to wait in a long line for hours to get an iPhone 4 and then it does not work as it should they should be able to make the company pay.

      And I think we are giving Apple too much credit. I believe they are well aware of what is wrong but they are stalling. And that is probably the truth. And they have had plenty of time. People reported this problem since June 23rd.
      Your previous post implied that Apple was pulling a fast one. That's what most people would get from your post.

      Listen to yourself: "They should be able to make the company pay." Are you serious? Why does it matter that someone stood in a line for a long time? Did Apple force you to buy their product? Did Apple force you to stand in that line? This sounds more like a personal vendetta.

      It can't really be said more clear than this: Don't like the product, return it. That's what normal people do when they experience something like this.
    1. nicksti's Avatar
      nicksti -
      Quote Originally Posted by Happy Noodle Boy View Post
      You're an idiot if you think Apple will come a week later after launch and take a stand on the issue. It'll take them weeks, months even before they come out and say "After EXTENSIVE research, we've found this, this, and that. Here's how we're dealing with it and what the plan is"
      Someone is an idiot because they expect a company to do the right thing and admit there is a problem with the product? Maybe that is the problem? You think they need weeks or months and/or extensive testing? Let's get real. They built the phone. They have a team of engineers on payroll already. This is not the Gulf Coast spill; this is a $176 phone. The calls started rolling in June 23rd. We are into July. You get sued because you delay any appropriate action.

      Quote Originally Posted by Happy Noodle Boy View Post
      A class action lawsut is going to achieve NOTHING since there's a very good chance Apple is already working on it. The reason that guy got fired is because he's leaking private corporate information. This is simply illegal whichever way you want to see it. Apple knows well this is a delicate situation and they're not going to jump into any stance without knowing 120% where the hell they stand.
      You are wrong on that one. A class action lawsuit will affect Apple in more than one way. The most immediate way is the bad press. And that line entry in their financials that has legal expenses will be a little bigger.

      The whole argument can easily be reversed as well. If you are happy with your iphone then keep it. If you are unhappy with it then return it. If you do not want to join the lawsuit then do not since it will not affect you.

      Quote Originally Posted by dhamien View Post
      Your previous post implied that Apple was pulling a fast one. That's what most people would get from your post.

      Listen to yourself: "They should be able to make the company pay." Are you serious? Why does it matter that someone stood in a line for a long time? Did Apple force you to buy their product? Did Apple force you to stand in that line? This sounds more like a personal vendetta.

      It can't really be said more clear than this: Don't like the product, return it. That's what normal people do when they experience something like this.
      My post is uneditted and there for anyone to read. I did not even remotely imply Apple was pulling a fast one on people.

      "And again, the point of class action lawsuits is not because some people are bitter because they purchased a faulty product. It is fortunate for you that there are people that class action, thus forcing some companies not to try to pull as fast one over consumers."

      All that simple says is some companies pull fast ones on consumers. There was absolutely no Apple reference in there whatsoever. For the record I do not believe Apple is pulling a fast one on people.

      For me it comes down to this:

      Apple is rich because of us the consumer. Apple is nothing without us. Some people do not appreciate the way they are being jerked around on this issue. If you do not mind wasting a whole day in a line, then a whole day on the phone with a CSR and leave without a fix to a problem that said rich company does not want to own up to and this all cost you your hard-earned money then that is your approach. But I do not find it unreasonable for someone to sue under those circumstances.

      But we do not see eye to eye so let us leave it at that.
    1. nc3g's Avatar
      nc3g -
      I think it is unlikely the suit will be certified or come to anything. More than likely, a software fix and possibly free bumpers will make it all go away.

      The suit is a joke.
    1. zturn13's Avatar
      zturn13 -
      Ok lets do the math 23rd of june and there are 30 days in june and this is the 1st of july....so 8 days after it was released and what was it the 26th that there was talk of a law suit? this is just stupid why just jump in and sue them give them time to find a fix! yea this stuff takes time who woulda thought??

      I mean seriously its not some big plan that steve jobs had from the start y would he plan a problem with his product if there is problems with his product that means a problem with his company! there will be a fix but they have to find out if its software or a hardware problem then they have to trace that and then find a fix so seriously if this law suit is started too soon i think the judge will even say give them some time and throw out the case!

      Now i would be pissed if i bought a phone for 300 bucks and it didn't work fully but apple has been good with getting stuff fixed yea they dont ever say anything until they have the fix which is annoying but still 8 days and people are yelling class action law suit is just too extreme.