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Apple to offer $50 in iPod battery suit
Class notice says company will offer store credit or cash as part of proposed settlement.
June 3, 2005: 1:17 PM EDT
By Grace Wong, CNN/Money staff writer

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Buyers of early generation iPods may receive $50 in store credit or $25 cash compensation as part of a proposed class action settlement against Apple Computer, according to one of the law firms representing plaintiffs in the case.

San Francisco-based law firm Girard Gibbs & De Bartolomeo posted a class notice on its Web site Thursday notifying members of the settlement.

Apple (Research) could not be reached for comment.

A nationwide class action lawsuit was filed against Apple in December 2003. The plaintiffs alleged the company misrepresented the playtime and lifespan of the iPod's battery.

Eligible members of the class action lawsuit include customers who bought a first, second or third generation iPod on or before May 31, 2004 and experienced battery failure.

First generation iPods have a mechanical scroll wheel that physically turns while the second generation version of the digital music player features a touchweel that doesn't physically turn. The third generation iPod has a touchwheel that doesn't turn, as well as a dock connector.

According to the settlement, benefits vary according to the type of iPod purchased and range from an extension of the one-year limited warranty on the iPod to a $50 store credit to a $25 cash payment. As part of the settlement, purchasers of third generation iPods are also eligible to get a brand new iPod.

"The settlement from the perspective of the consumer is excellent. We think it's a terrific result for a hard fought case," Eric Gibbs, partner at Girard Gibbs & De Bartolomeo, said.

The notice will go out to about 2 million iPod owners, he said. But since the settlement provides different options and benefits depending on the type of iPod affected, Gibbs said it is difficult to determine how much it will end up costing Apple.

"It'll turn on what people choose to receive and it'll turn on how many of the 2 million people have experienced battery failure," he added.

To make the claim, eligible owners of third generation iPods must submit a claim form within two years after the original purchase date of the iPod or September 30, 2005, whichever is later.

All other claims must be postmarked by September 30, 2005.

Members of the settlement class will automatically be mailed the class notice based on registration records maintained by Apple.

The final settlement approval hearing is scheduled for August 25. At that hearing, the court could decide to not approve the settlement, but that's unlikely, Gibbs said.

Apple recently recalled some of its laptop batteries. Click here.  Top of page


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