Apple Moves to Dismiss M1 MacBook Screen Defect Complaint

In response to a consolidated class action complaint filed in November, Apple Inc. has argued in favor of dismissal, contending that the plaintiffs have not traced the alleged functionality issues to any common defect. The case, originally filed in September then consolidated with another in the Northern District of California, alleges that Apple’s M1 MacBook Air and MacBook Pro screens are “extraordinarily fragile, cracking, blacking out, or showing magenta, purple and blue lines and squares, or otherwise ceasing to function altogether.”

Last Friday’s motion says that despite their opportunity to file a consolidated class action complaint and having the benefit of Apple’s responses to the plaintiffs’ California Consumer Legal Remedies Act letters, the consumers have not stated a claim with regard to any alleged defect. The filing sets forth three arguments in favor of dismissal.

First, Apple contends that the plaintiffs’ fraud-based claims fail to satisfy the particularity requirements of Rule 9(b), partly due to their failure to identify the alleged defect underlying their claims. Also absent from their fraud and affirmative misrepresentation claims are contentions specifying what statements or representation the plaintiffs relied on in purchasing the purportedly defective computers.

Second, the dismissal filing says that the consumers’ express warranty claims fail because Apple’s one-year limited warranty explicitly carves out such grievances. Apple further contends that its response to complaints has been appropriate as the plaintiffs have not alleged a defect in “materials and workmanship” covered by the warranty. As to the warranty of implied merchantability claims, Apple asserts that its warranty also bars such claims and that the complainants do not allege issues showing that their devices are not merchantable. 

Third, Apple claims that the quasi-contract claims fail to satisfy the required elements. “Plaintiffs do not allege that Apple obtained money to be used for Plaintiffs’ benefit, nor how Apple became indebted to Plaintiffs,” the filing says. In addition, the motion argues that the consumers’ unjust enrichment claims fail in the presence of, as here, a governing sales contract.

The plaintiffs are represented by Bursor & Fisher P.A. and Migliaccio & Rathod LLP, and Apple by Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP.