San Jose, CA asked in Consumer Law, Personal Injury, Products Liability and Business Law for California

Q: How can I sue Apple for deceptive laptop diagnostic?

I was wondering if your firm is open this case. I recently purchased a Macbook pro and it was damaged on arrival. I took it back to the store and the genius bar said that it was water damaged therefor they cannot exchange or return it for me. I was really frustrated because this is a brand new product that didn't work when I took it out of the box. I tried to dispute the charges with Barclay Visa but they took Apple side because Apple had submitted a statement that the product was water damaged. Afterwards I took it to a different computer technician for them to give me a second opinion. When they opened the laptop there were no signs of water damaged however they did find a manufacturing defect. I think this is a very unethical way of Apple handling this situation, blaming on water damage to refuse exchange/return and warranty. They need to be held accountable for misinforming consumers.

3 Lawyer Answers

Dale S. Gribow

  • Palm Desert, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: small claims would be perfect for you if your claim is less than $10,000.

first, send a self-serving letter to whoever you are going to sue setting forth the facts and making a demand.

when they do not respond include the letter with the complaint to show the court you did not want to take up the courts time and had assumed they do the right thing...but they didn't. Thus you had to sue in small claims.

neither side can bring in a lawyer............maybe even contact your local paper.

William John Light agrees with this answer

Theodore Allan Greene

  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Most lawyers would be happy to sue Apple for you. I think $10,000 would be a starting retainer. Apple will probably fight fairly aggressively to send a message that you can't sue us because we are larger than some small countries. After the first round of discovery you should probably expect to put in another $10,000 into your attorneys account. My billing rate is $350/hr so $10k doesn't last long. You might get it settled by the time the second 10k was exhausted... so let's recap... you spend $20,000 to get a gift card worth $500 on your next purchase and they exchanged the defective product for you. Now was it worth it? Of course not.. so you could sue in small claims court but the example above simply means it's not worth getting an attorney and paying hourly.

Sometimes we do cases on a "contingency" basis which means we only get paid if we get some money for you that we can get a percentage of... but your case would be mostly on principal and therefore you would have to pay way more than it's worth... I only give you this long answer so you understand... good luck

William John Light agrees with this answer

William John Light

  • Products Liability Lawyer
  • Riverside, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Take it back to Apple with a signed statement from your new technician, or appeal your Visa determination with that same evidence. If that doesn't work, Small Claims is the place for you.

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