Judge rejects challenges to Apple's $50M butterfly keyboard settlement
By Mike Scarcella
(Reuters) - A U.S. judge on Thursday approved Apple Inc's $50 million class-action settlement resolving consumer claims over certain defective MacBook keyboards, in a ruling that spurned challenges to the deal.
U.S. District Judge Edward Davila in San Jose, California, federal court in his ruling called the settlement "fair, adequate and reasonable."
Eleven consumers from New York, Florida, California, Michigan and several other states were the lead plaintiffs in the national class action alleging consumer protection and warranty claims.
The lawsuit accused Apple of failing to provide sufficient repairs or troubleshooting help for certain MacBook "butterfly" keyboards made between 2015 and 2019.
An Apple spokesperson on Friday did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment.
The plaintiffs' lawyers announced the deal a year ago. Apple denied any wrongdoing.
Class members will receive $50 up to $395 based on the number and nature of repairs made to a keyboard.
More than 86,000 claims for class member payments were submitted as of early March, Davila's order showed.
One challenge to the settlement said $125 — the compensation for members of one group in the class — was not enough, because keyboard repairs can cost more than $300.
"[T]he possibility that a better settlement may have been reached — or that the benefits provided under the settlement will not make class members 'whole' — are insufficient grounds to deny approval," Davila wrote in his order.
Other challenges argued it was unfair to deny any compensation to MacBook owners who experienced keyboard failures but who did not get them repaired.
Davila said that "while not all who were purportedly injured will receive compensation, the settlement compromise benefits a significant number of individuals."
The court's ruling approved a request from the plaintiffs' lawyers for $15 million in legal fees.
Two lead plaintiffs' lawyers at Girard Sharp and Chimicles Schwartz Kriner & Donaldson-Smith in a statement said they "look forward to getting the money out to our clients."
The case is In re: MacBook Keyboard Litigation, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, No. 5:18-cv-02813-EJD.
(Reporting by Mike Scarcella; editing by Leigh Jones)