Apple Class Action Says Every Apple Watch Model Is Defective

A nationwide consumer class action lawsuit filed against Apple claims that every single Apple Watch model is defective and is seeking to hold the tech giant accountable to its customers to the tune of $5 million.

Plaintiff Kenneth Sciaccia of Colorado filed the lawsuit in federal court last week seeking justice for him and other Apple Watch purchasers. Sciacca alleges that the Apple watches all contain the same defect which causes the screens on the watches to crack, shatter, or detach from the body of the watch, through no fault of the wearer, and oftentimes only days or weeks after purchase.

Apple starting selling its watches in April 2015, when it introduced its Series 0 Watches to consumers. Since then, the company has released two additional generations of the Apple Watch: the Series 1 and Series 2 watches; and the Series 3 Watch.

According to the Apple Watch class action lawsuit, shortly after the release of the Series 0, consumers began to complain that their screens on their Apple Watches were spontaneously detaching from the body of their Watches. Apple denied any widespread issue with Series 0 Watches, but in April 2017, Apple acknowledged a swelling battery defect in certain Series 0 Watches and extended its Limited Warranty for qualifying Series 0 Watches from one year to three years.

Apple began to sell its Series 1 and Series 2 Watches in September 2016. Shortly thereafter, consumers who purchased the Series 1 and Series 2 Watches complained that the screens on their Series 1 and Series 2 Watches had cracked, shattered, or completely detached from the body of their Watches. Like the Series 0 purchasers, these consumers took their defective watches to Apple Stores, contacted Apple Support, and posted their complaints on the “Communities” forum on Still, Apple denied any widespread issue but similarly acknowledged a swelling battery defect in certain Series 2 Watches and extended its Limited Warranty for qualifying Apple Watches. Similar situations also occurred with Series 3 Apple Watches.

In Sciaccia’s case, he purchased a Series 2 Stainless Steel 38mm Apple Watch in December 2016. Around March 2018, the screen on Sciacca’s Apple Watch unexpectedly detached from the body shortly after he removed the watch from its charger. Sciacca says he contacted a certified Apple Store where store employees examined Sciacca’s Watch and verified the issue, but determined that the Watch’s screen detached because of “non-warrantable damage,” rather than a swollen battery. Because the employees determined Sciacca’s Watch was not covered under Apple’s Limited Warranty, they quoted him $249 to repair his Watch. Sciacca declined this offer.

Sadly, Sciacca’s experience is reportedly identical to the experiences of thousands of Apple Watch owners. Apple forums are full of complaints about the defective watches and Apple’s refusal to cover its product under its Limited Warranty. Indeed, Apple’s response in each case is the same: it implicitly or expressly blames the consumer for the Defect and refuses to cover repairs under the Limited Warranty.

By bringing this class action lawsuit, Sciacca hopes to hold Apple accountable for the alleged defective watches. He is seeking to represent a Class consisting of all current and former consumer owners of all models and sizes of First Generation, Series 1, Series 2, and Series 3 Apple Watches purchased in the United States, as well as a Colorado subclass.

Sciacca and the proposed classes are represented by Kolin C. Tan of Shepherd Finkelman Miller & Shah LLP.

The Apple Watch Class Action Lawsuit is Sciacca v. Apple Inc., Case No. 5:18-cv-3312, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

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