M1 MacBook Screen Complaint Viable, Says Opposition Filing

Last week, the owners of certain M1 MacBook laptop models argued that their amended complaint satisfies the applicable pleading requirements over arguments by Apple Inc. The suit, now nearly a year old, says that screens of 13.3” Macbook Pro and Macbook Air computers years 2020 and newer, are defective, despite Apple’s representations to the contrary.

Specifically, the complaint takes issue with the screens’ fragility and how they show colors, go black, or stop working. The consumers point to representations made by Apple about the computers’ robustness as well as their newly retained expert’s comparison of M1 MacBooks to previous models assessing design differences and opining that those cause their alleged dysfunction.

The plaintiffs say that because the computers fell below the expectations Apple created, they overpaid. The operative complaint states contract, warranty, and fraud claims as well as certain California consumer protection claims.

Notably, last week’s bid to avoid dismissal is the plaintiffs’ second. Previously, Judge Vince Chhabria dismissed all claims with leave to amend, finding too little support for the allegations, especially those cast as fraud-based claims.  

In response to their amended complaint, Apple argued that the plaintiffs still do not single out an alleged defect. They also fail to allege any actionable misrepresentation, its brief said in asking for dismissal with prejudice.

In last week’s opposition, the computer buyers allege that in designing the M1 Macbooks, the company switched one defect with the keyboard for another: the screen defect. The so-called “Clearance Defect” was hidden from consumers who are saddled with the burden of repairing their M1 displays again and again, the opposition says.

“Defendant now seeks to wipe its hands clean and represents that it no longer sells the M1 MacBooks,” the plaintiffs say. The filing doubles down on its core theory: Apple has had long-standing knowledge of the defect but still refuses to inform consumers of its true nature. As such, the plaintiffs claim that Apple must mitigate the harm caused by either paying damages or restitution.

Bursor & Fisher P.A. and Migliaccio & Rathod LLP represent the plaintiffs and Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP represents Apple.