Apple: Plaintiffs’ iPods Bought Outside Class Action Dates, Deemed Irrelevant

The class-action lawsuit involving the iPod has taken an interesting turn: The US judge overseeing the case is concerned that she may not have a plaintiff. Without a plaintiff, there is no case, she argues, so this could mean that the trial could be halted or stalled indefinitely (via the New York Times).

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The twist comes after Apple’s lawyers sent a letter to the federal judge late Wednesday raising concerns over the validity of the plaintiffs’ claims.

Here’s what happened: There are two named plaintiffs in the case, Marina Rosen of New Jersey and Melanie Tucker of North California. Apple has looked into its documents and found that Rosen’s iPod involved in the case was purchased in July 2009, and that the class action lawsuit seeks damages for an iPod bought between 2006 and March 2009, so the device is irrelevant to the case.

Also, Apple’s lawyers couldn’t verify other purchases Rosen made between 2006 and 2009, such as an iPod Nano bought in the fall of 2007, so they turned to Rosen’s lawyers for proof of purchase, just as in the case of Melanie Tucker. The latter plaintiff purchased an iPod in 2010, also outside the relevant period. Tucker testified that she purchased an iPod in 2005.

Now the ball is on the plaintiffs’ court: It remains to be seen whether they can prove they have a case or not.

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