(CTN News) – Apple Inc (AAPL.O) lost its bid to block a mass London lawsuit on Wednesday alleging that millions of iPhones were concealed with defective batteries.
There are around 24 million iPhone users in the United Kingdom who are represented in the lawsuit by British consumer champion Justin Gutmann.
It is expected that Gutmann will seek damages from Apple for them in the amount of 1.6 billion pounds ($1.9 billion) plus interest, with the claim’s midpoint range being 853 million pounds.
According to his lawyers, Apple concealed battery problems in certain phone models by throttling the batteries with software updates and installing a power management tool that limited the performance of the phones as a result of your behavior.
In response, Apple has said that the suit is “baseless” and that they strongly deny that iPhone batteries are defective, except for a small number of iPhone 6s models that the company is providing free replacement batteries for.
While Gutmann’s case has been iPhone challenged by the company, the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) has ruled on Wednesday that Gutmann’s case can go forward despite the fact that the company sought to have the case thrown out of court.
CAT did, however, mention that there was a lack of “clarity and specificity” in Gutmann’s case, which needed to be resolved before any trial could take place.
In addition, it noted that Gutmann’s litigation funding arrangements may need to be revised following a landmark Supreme Court ruling in July which found that many of such agreements violated the law.
In a statement, Gutmann stated that the ruling represented a “major step forward in the area of consumer justice”.
According to a spokesperson for Apple, the company has never done anything to intentionally shorten the life of any Apple product, or degrade the user experience in order to drive customer upgrades, and has never planned to do so in the future.
It can be argued that Gutmann’s case adds to the number of high-value mass lawsuits that are currently being brought in London, following a decision made in July to allow claims against major banks accused of rigging foreign exchange markets to go ahead.