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Google Sued For Defective Pixel 3 Phones

Google's logo on its headquarters.

Mountain View, California, USA - March 29, 2018: Google sign on the building at Google's headquarters in Silicon Valley . Google is an American technology company in Internet-related services and products.

On Tuesday in a putative class-action complaint filed in California’s Santa Clara County Superior Court, plaintiff Nicholas Goglia sued Google alleging that it deceptively advertised its defective Pixel 3 phones and failed to honor its warranty.

Goglia brought this putative class action on behalf of individuals “who purchased first-generation Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL (collectively, ‘Pixel 3’) smartphones.” The plaintiff asserted that the Pixel 3 is “defective” because: “(1) the Pixel camera suffers from a malfunctioning autofocus feature, which causes the screen display to go black or the camera application to fail altogether; and (2) the Pixel’s battery drains at an accelerated pace after a short period of normal use, causing the phone to overheat and/or prematurely shut off.” The plaintiff claimed that these defects “are material and compromise the devices’ core functionality.” Specifically, Goglia proffered that Pixel 3 users constantly face camera issues forcing them to restart the camera application and they also must frequently connect to power, “effectively converting their ‘mobile’ phones into landlines.”

According to the complaint, Google “designed, manufactured, marketed, and sold” the Pixel 3 phones, “which are marketed as premium products ranging in price from $799 to $899.” However, plaintiff Goglia alleged that Google knew the Pixel 3 was defective and “prone to fail,” but Google allegedly did not disclose this information to consumers. Additionally, the plaintiff averred that Google engaged in deceptive marketing because of its failure to disclose these defects. For instance, plaintiff Goglia claimed that in 2018 he purchased the Pixel 3 after seeing it advertised for its “high quality and functionality, including that the Pixel 3 had an exceptional camera and excellent battery life.” However, the plaintiff claimed that these representations are false.

Moreover, the plaintiff proffered that while the Pixel 3 phones come with a one-year warranty, Google has purportedly failed to honor the warranty. Specifically, plaintiff Goglia stated that “[i]nstead of fixing the reported problems, Google has denied warranty service for pretextual reasons and obfuscated the source of the Pixel 3’s problems. When Google has agreed to replace a defective Pixel, they provide a replacement Pixel 3 that is also defective, exposing consumers to repeat failures.” Furthermore, the plaintiff added that thousands of consumers have reported these defects with their Pixel 3 phone. For example, the malfunctioning autofocus feature on the camera causes photos to be blurry and out of focus; the battery also allegedly drains easily, which in some instances can cause the phone to overheat causing the phone to freeze. Plaintiff Goglia averred that he has not had a properly functioning Pixel 3.

Google is accused of violating California’s Unfair Competition Law, California’s Consumers Legal Remedies Act, and California’s False Advertising Law.

The plaintiff has sought class certification and for the plaintiff and his counsel to represent the class; declaratory and injunctive relief for Google to disclose the defects and to return costs to remedy the Pixel 3 phones, to extend the warranty time period and notify Pixel 3 users about the extension, restitution, and to enjoin from the deceptive advertising and selling of Pixel 3 phones without disclosing the purported defects; an award for costs and fees and other relief.

The plaintiff is represented by Adhoot & Wolfson, PC and Chimicles Schwartz Kriner & Donaldson-Smith LLP.

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