Apple/AT&T iPhone class action suit triggers stampede of lawyers

a thrilled owner of the latest iphone

Some owners of the new Apple iPhone 4G, excited at first, soon filed Apple/AT&T class action lawsuits over antenna reception problems. Flickr photo.

The Apple/AT&T class action lawsuit is the latest act in the iPhone 4G saga. Soon after selling 1.7 million iPhone 4Gs in just three days, consumer complaints about the iPhone “Death Grip” spread like wildfire. After intensely coveting Apple’s latest iPhone, reception problems traced to a faulty iPhone antenna design is apparently too much to bear for some. Disgruntled iPhone 4G users have teamed up with trolling lawyers to file four class action lawsuits against Apple and wireless provider AT&T in Delaware and California.

The iPhone 4G death grip saga

The Apple iPhone 4G inspired more wanton consumer lust than any product in recent memory. But the insanely high expectations Apple has created among its devotees appear to be backfiring. PC World reports that soon after the iPhone 4G started shipping to customers in late June, the legend of the iPhone 4 “death grip” was born. Complaints erupted on the Internet saying that holding the phone with fingers covering the three black lines on the phone’s edge and the bottom left corner caused its reception to fizzle.

iPhone covers too little too late for plaintiffs

In response to the iPhone 4 death grip furor, Apple said that “gripping any phone will result in some attenuation of its antenna performance.” Placing an iPhone cover, or “bumper” on the iPhone 4 apparently eliminates death grip issues. Apple is also reportedly prepping a software update that will alleviate connection problems. But the iPhone cover and software fix isn’t  good enough for a few bitterly disappointed iPhone 4 users and several opportunistic legal eagles eager to angle for the potentially lucrative angst of 1.7 million iPhoniphiles and counting.

Lawyers lust after Apple and AT&T’s money

All the Apple/AT&T class action lawsuits are seeking punitive damages and an injunction against the continued manufacture and sale of the phones until the problem is fixed. Macworld reports that of nine charges leveled in a case filed in Delaware against Apple and AT&T, seven target AT&T and all nine get started to Apple: general negligence; defect in design, manufacture, and assembly; breach of express warranty; breach of implied warranty for merchantibility; breach of implied warranty of fitness for a particular purpose; deceptive trade practices; intentional misrepresentation; negligent misrepresentation; and fraud by concealment.

Devastated iPhone users want legal satisfaction

In another Apple/AT&T class action lawsuit filed in California, Reuters reports that the deeply hurt plaintiffs have no other choice because Apple and AT&T have failed to provide customer support and, even worse, customers have been left with only thee remedies: “hold their phones in an awkward and unnatural manner,” pay a 10 percent restocking fee and return their phones, or pay $29.95 to buy the iPhone cover that is said to fix the reception problem.

Law firms hawking Apple/AT&T class action lawsuits

Apple and AT&T both declined to comment on the iPhone 4 lawsuits Thursday. But now that the cat is out of the bag, expect more lawsuits to emerge. For example, Gawker posted a link to the Web site for law firm Kershaw, Cutter & Ratinoff, which is looking for people who are having iPhone 4 reception problems in hopes of getting their fair share of this potential legal bonanza.

Other recent posts by bryanh