Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the purpose of this website?
- What is a class action?
- What is this lawsuit about?
- Why is there a settlement?
- How do I know if I am part of the Settlement?
- What does “jailbroken” mean?
- What if I’m still not sure if I am included in the Class?
- What does the Settlement provide?
- How much will my payment be?
- How do I get a payment?
- When would I get my payment?
- What rights am I giving up to get a payment and stay in the Class?
- What are the Released Claims?
- What is opting out or excluding myself from the Settlement?
- How do I request to be excluded from the Settlement?
- If I exclude myself, can I still get a payment from this Settlement?
- If I do not exclude myself, can I sue Apple for the same claims later?
- Do I have a lawyer in this case?
- How will the lawyers be paid?
- May I get my own lawyer?
- How do I tell the Court that I do not like the Settlement?
- What is the difference between objecting and asking to be excluded?
- When and where will the Court decide whether to approve the Settlement?
- Do I have to come to the hearing?
- May I speak at the hearing?
- What happens if I do nothing at all?
- Are more details available?
What is the purpose of this website?
A federal Court authorized this website because you have a right to know about the proposed Settlement of this class action lawsuit and all of your options before the Court decides whether to approve the proposed Settlement. This website explains the lawsuit, the Settlement, your legal rights, what benefits are available, and who can get them.
Judge Lucy H. Koh of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California (the “Court”) is currently overseeing this case and will decide whether to approve the Settlement. The case is known as Grace et al. v. Apple Inc., Case No. 17-CV-00551-LHK-NC. The people who sued are called the Plaintiffs. The company they are suing is Apple Inc., which is called the Defendant.Back To Top
What is a class action?
In a class action, one or more people called “Class Representatives” (in this case, Christina Grace and Kenneth Potter, Jr.) sue on behalf of people who have similar claims. All these people are a “Class” or “Class Members.” One court resolves the issues for all Class Members, except for those who exclude themselves from the Class.Back To Top
What is this lawsuit about?
Plaintiffs bring a claim for trespass to chattels. “Chattels” is a word meaning personal property, as opposed to real estate. Plaintiffs also bring a claim under California’s Unfair Competition Law, Bus. & Prof. Code § 17200.
Apple designs, manufactures, and markets the iPhone. All iPhones, including the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S, operate through a mobile operating system known as iOS. The iPhone 4 was the first iPhone to offer a feature known as “FaceTime,” which allows iPhone users to communicate via video calls.
Plaintiffs contend that on April 16, 2014, Apple allowed a security certificate in the iPhone to expire, with the result that FaceTime stopped working on their iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S devices running the iOS 6 operating system or an older version. Apple came up with a way to restore FaceTime functionality to Plaintiffs and the Class Members’ devices that required them to download a free software update to the then-current version of Apple’s mobile operating system, iOS 7.1. Plaintiffs contend that this particular update degraded the performance of their devices. Plaintiffs contend that the resulting choice between not having FaceTime and degraded device performance caused their devices to diminish in value.
Plaintiffs contend that Apple intentionally caused FaceTime to stop working to save money. They seek to recover damages for the diminution in value of their iPhones.
Apple maintains that it did nothing wrong, denies that it intentionally caused FaceTime to stop working, and denies that the FaceTime interruption was a trespass to Class Members’ devices. Apple also denies that iOS 7.1 performed poorly on iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S devices and contends that the iOS 7.1 update solved the FaceTime issue. Apple asserts numerous defenses to the claims in this case. The proposed Settlement to resolve this litigation is not an admission of guilt or any wrongdoing of any kind by Apple, and it is not an admission by Apple of the truth of any of the allegations in this litigation.Back To Top
Why is there a settlement?
The Court did not decide in favor of the Plaintiffs or Defendant. Instead, the Plaintiffs and Defendant agreed to a settlement. This way, they avoid the cost, burden, and uncertainty of a trial and the people allegedly affected can get benefits. The Class Representatives and their attorneys think the Settlement is best for all Class Members.Back To Top
How do I know if I am part of the Settlement?
The Court has decided that everyone who fits the following description is a Class Member, and is thus included in the Settlement:
All owners of non-jailbroken Apple iPhone 4 or Apple iPhone 4S devices who, on April 16, 2014, had iOS 6 or earlier operating systems on their iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S devices, and who were in California on that date.Back To Top
What does “jailbroken” mean?
A “jailbroken” iPhone is one where the user has intentionally removed programmed limitations in order to modify the functionality of the iPhone, run unauthorized applications, or otherwise change the performance of the iPhone.Back To Top
What if I’m still not sure if I am included in the Class?
If you are still not sure whether you are included in the Class, you can call toll-free 1-866-977-0759, or write to Grace v. Apple Settlement Administrator, P.O. Box 2299, Portland, OR 97208-2299, for more information.Back To Top
What does the Settlement provide?
An $18 million Settlement Fund has been established by Apple in this Settlement. After deducting any Court-approved attorneys’ fees and expenses, service awards, and the costs of settlement notice and administration, the Net Settlement Fund will be made available to Class Members who Apple determines from its records are included in the Class or who timely submit valid Applications for Inclusion in the Class.Back To Top
How much will my payment be?
Final payments will be calculated based on the total number of non-jailbroken Apple iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S devices owned by the Class Members and the total number of valid Applications for Inclusion in the Class.Back To Top
How do I get a payment?
If you received a notice by email or mail indicating that Apple has determined that you are a Class Member, and if you do nothing, you will remain in the Class and automatically receive a digital check via email or a physical check via U.S. Mail for your payment under the proposed Settlement. No action is required on your part.
If you did not receive a notice by email or mail but believe that you are a Class Member, you needed to complete and submit a valid Application for Inclusion in the Class by December 9, 2020, in order to receive a payment under the proposed Settlement. Applications for Inclusion in the Class needed to be submitted by December 9, 2020. All Applications for Inclusion in the Class are subject to verification and validation.Back To Top
When would I get my payment?
The Court overseeing this case has granted Final Approval to the Settlement. Payments will be distributed in accordance with the Court’s Order and the Settlement Agreement.Back To Top
What rights am I giving up to get a payment and stay in the Class?
Unless you exclude yourself, you are staying in the Class. If the Settlement is approved and becomes final, all of the Court’s orders will apply to you and legally bind you. You won’t be able to sue, continue to sue, or be part of any other lawsuit against Apple related to the subject matter of this lawsuit or the claims released by the Settlement Agreement. The rights you are giving up are called Released Claims.Back To Top
What are the Released Claims?
Generally, if and when the Settlement Agreement becomes final, Class Members will permanently release Apple Inc. (including its present or former affiliates, agents, attorneys, contractors, divisions, employees, holding companies, insurers, servants, shareholders, sister corporations, officers, directors, representatives, and successors) from claims relating to the April 16, 2014 FaceTime break or the certificate expiration that caused it. The specific claims you will be releasing are described in more detail in paragraph 8.1 of the Settlement Agreement, available here.Back To Top
What is opting out or excluding myself from the Settlement?
If you want to keep the right to sue or continue to sue Apple for any claim made in this lawsuit or released by the Settlement Agreement, and you do not want to receive a payment from this Settlement, you must take steps to get out of the Settlement. This is called excluding yourself or opting out of the Settlement.Back To Top
How do I request to be excluded from the Settlement?
To exclude yourself, you needed to send a letter with the following information:
- Your name and address;
- A statement that you wish to be excluded from the Class in Grace et al. v. Apple Inc., Case No. 17-CV-00551-LHK-NC; and
- Your signature.
You must mail your exclusion request to:
Grace v. Apple Exclusions
P.O. Box 2299
Portland, OR 97208-2299
Your exclusion request must have been received no later than December 9, 2020.Back To Top
If I exclude myself, can I still get a payment from this Settlement?
No. If you exclude yourself, you are telling the Court that you don’t want to be part of the Class in this Settlement. You can only get a payment if you stay in the Class. See FAQ 10.Back To Top
If I do not exclude myself, can I sue Apple for the same claims later?
No. Unless you exclude yourself, you are giving up the right to sue Apple regarding the subject matter of the claims that this Settlement resolves. You must exclude yourself from this lawsuit to start or continue with your own lawsuit or be part of any other lawsuit against Apple.Back To Top
Do I have a lawyer in this case?
Yes. The Court appointed the following attorneys to represent you as “Class Counsel”:
Class Counsel Jill M. Manning, Esq.
Steyer Lowenthal Boodrookas Alvarez & Smith LLP
John Austin Curry, Esq.
Caldwell Cassady & Curry LLP
Daniel L. Warshaw, Esq.
Pearson, Simon & Warshaw, LLP
David F.E. Tejtel, Esq.
Friedman Oster & Tejtel PLLC
You do not have to pay Class Counsel out of your own pocket. If you want to be represented by your own lawyer and have that lawyer appear in court for you in this case, you may hire one at your own expense.Back To Top
How will the lawyers be paid?
Class Counsel may ask the Court for an award of attorneys’ fees not to exceed $5,400,000, expenses not to exceed $1,100,000, and service awards to the Class Representatives not to exceed $7,500 each. The Court will determine these amounts. All of these amounts, as well as the costs associated with administering the Settlement, will be paid from the Settlement Fund before making payments to qualifying Class Members.
A copy of Class Counsel’s Motion for Attorneys’ Fees and Expenses and for Named Plaintiff Service Awards will be available on the Important Documents page by November 25, 2020.Back To Top
May I get my own lawyer?
If you are in the Class, you are not required to hire your own lawyer because Class Counsel is working on your behalf. However, if you want your own lawyer, you may hire one at your own expense.Back To Top
How do I tell the Court that I do not like the Settlement?
If you are a Class Member, you can ask the Court to deny approval of the Settlement by submitting an objection. You can’t ask the Court to order a different settlement; the Court can only approve or reject the Settlement. If the Court denies approval, no settlement payments will be sent out and the lawsuit will continue. If that is what you want to happen, you must object.
Any objection to the proposed Settlement must be in writing. If you submit a timely written objection, you may, but are not required to, appear at the Final Approval Hearing, either in person or through your own attorney. If you appear through your own attorney, you are responsible for hiring and paying that attorney. All written objections and supporting papers must (a) clearly identify the case name and number (Grace et al. v. Apple Inc., Case No. 17-CV-00551-LHK-NC), (b) be submitted to the Court either by mailing them to the Class Action Clerk, United States District Court for the Northern District of California, Robert F. Peckham Federal Building & United States Courthouse, 280 South 1st Street, Room 2112, San Jose, CA 95113, or by filing them in person at any location of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, and (c) be filed or postmarked on or before December 9, 2020.Back To Top
What is the difference between objecting and asking to be excluded?
Objecting is simply telling the Court that you don’t like something about the Settlement. You can object only if you stay in the Class (do not exclude yourself). Excluding yourself is telling the Court that you don’t want to be part of the Class. If you exclude yourself, you cannot object because the Settlement no longer affects you.Back To Top
When and where will the Court decide whether to approve the Settlement?
The Court held a Fairness Hearing on February 8, 2021. At this hearing the Court considered whether to approve the Settlement; Class Counsel’s request for attorneys’ fees and expenses; and the service awards to the Class Representatives. On March 31, 2021, the Court issued an Order Granting Final Approval to the Settlement and an Order approving in part and denying in part Class Counsel’s request for attorneys’ fees and expenses. Both Orders are available on the Important Documents page.Back To Top
Do I have to come to the hearing?
No. Class Counsel will answer any questions the Court may have. However, you are welcome to come to the hearing at your own expense. If you send an objection, you do not have to come to Court to talk about it. As long as you mailed your written objection on time, the Court will consider it. You may also pay your own lawyer to attend, but that is not necessary.Back To Top
May I speak at the hearing?
Yes. You may ask the Court for permission to speak at the Final Approval Hearing.Back To Top
What happens if I do nothing at all?
If you are a Class Member and you do nothing, Apple will send a digital or physical check to the email or mailing address it has on file for you. You will give up the rights explained in FAQ 13, including your right to start a lawsuit, continue with a lawsuit, or be part of any other lawsuit against Apple related to the subject matter of this lawsuit or for any claims released by the Settlement Agreement.Back To Top
Are more details available?
You will find the Settlement Agreement and other related documents on the Important Documents page. You may also call toll-free at 1-866-977-0759 or write to:
Grace v. Apple Settlement Administrator
P.O. Box 2299
Portland, OR 97208-2299
Inquiries should NOT be directed to the Court.Back To Top