We love it when a judge shuts down a ridiculous lawsuit. But when a judge refers to the plaintiffs’ lawyer as “manifestly incompetent,” well, that’s just sweet, sweet frosting on the cake.
Remember that class-action lawsuit alleging AppleCare+ customers were being given subpar replacement products? This week a federal judge rejected the case while calling the plantiffs’ lawyer “manifestly incompetent” and suggesting the counsel orchestrated the entire case.
ArsTechnica reports that in his rejection of the class-action case, US District Judge William Orrick claimed the lawyer set the whole lawsuit up, even going so far as to encourage the plaintiffs to purchase AppleCare plans and then record their interactions with Apple employees for the purpose of creating the lawsuit.
“As with class counsel’s involvement in the inception of this case, her inexperience and poor performance to date are not adequately addressed by the recent appearance of KCR [Kershaw Cutter & Ratinoff] as co-counsel,” he wrote. “Moreover, this case has always been and continues to be class counsel’s; she is its source and its driver, and neither the dubious manner in which this litigation commenced nor the manifestly incompetent manner in which it has been conducted are cured at this juncture by yet another new co-counsel.”
The plaintiffs in the case consisted of a paralegal for Renee Kennedy, the lawyer who filed the lawsuit, and another person who had worked for Kennedy in the past. Kennedy gave them both “monetary gifts to thank them for their excellent work,” and both women used said “gifts” to purchase AppleCare+ coverage.
The case hasn’t been completely thrown out of court, but has merely lost its “class-action” status, meaning if it doesn’t get thrown out of court completely, any damages awarded will be on a much smaller scale.
Under AppleCare, Apple promises to “exchange the Covered Equipment with a replacement product that is new or equivalent to new in performance and reliability, and is at least functionally equivalent to the original product.”