Apple’s eDiscovery Failure in Plaintiff Class Action Over Apps
In an ongoing litigation over users’ privacy for iPhone and iPad apps, entitled In Re iPhone Application Litigation in the Northern District of California, plaintiffs allege that the private, personal information has been sold to third parties without the plaintiffs’ knowledge or consent.
Plaintiff eDiscovery requests were served on Apple in preparation for the certification of the class. Apple countered with a motion for summary judgment, and failed to provide a thorough defense production. Plaintiffs filed a Motion to Compel.
The trial judge held a hearing on the Motion to Compel. Also scheduled for hearing was defendant Apple’s motion for summary judgment and the motion for certification of the class. However, the trial judge agreed that Apple failed to comply with its discovery obligations and granted the motion to compel the defense production.
The findings of the court included not only that Apple failed to produce the required documents, but that Apple misrepresented its noncompliance to the judge at a prior hearing. Due to Apple’s discovery failure, both its motion for summary judgment and plaintiffs’ motion to certify the class has now been postponed.
Large corporate defendants like Apple often wield enormous power and have extensive resources and teams of attorneys. Cases like this impact all of us, as millions of people throughout the country use Apple products and should be informed about what private data is being sold to whom. Although damages to an individual might be modest, when affected persons ban together to form a class, its collective power is the certainly greater than the sum of its parts.
Our blog will report more on this case as it unfolds.