Apple keyboard compensation of $50 million deemed ‘fair and reasonable’

Judge approves settlement agreement with Apple

Despite objections, a US judge upheld a $50 million settlement in a class-action lawsuit against Apple over faulty MacBook butterfly keyboards.

In November 2022, the court gave initial approval for a $50 million settlement that resolves a class action lawsuit against Apple over the butterfly keyboard. The class action lawsuit, certified in 2021 and initiated in 2018, concerns owners of MacBook, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro models released in 2015 and 2016.

A Reuters report Friday said U.S. District Judge Edward Davila approved the settlement, calling it “fair, adequate and reasonable.”

Eleven consumers filed a class-action lawsuit from various US states, including New York, Florida, California and Michigan. They claimed that Apple did not provide sufficient repairs or troubleshooting assistance for specific MacBook butterfly keyboards manufactured between 2015 and 2019.

Despite the obstacles, the settlement faced opposition for certain reasons. For example, one objection emphasized that the $125 compensation given to a particular group within a class was considered inadequate given that keyboard repairs often cost more than $300.

Other claimants argued that it was unfair to deny compensation to MacBook owners who had a broken keyboard but were unable to fix it. In response, Davila pointed out that while not everyone allegedly affected will receive compensation, a compromise on a settlement is beneficial to many people.

Judge Davila also stressed that the possibility of a more favorable settlement, or the possibility that the benefits provided may not fully compensate group members, are not sufficient grounds for disapproval.

Class members will receive between $50 and $395 as part of the settlement, depending on the amount and nature of their keyboard repairs, and how many requests are received in the settlement. As of the beginning of March, more than 86,000 applications for payments to class members have been submitted.

The court’s decision also granted the plaintiffs’ attorneys’ claim for $15 million in legal fees. In a statement, two prominent lawyers representing lead plaintiffs Girard Sharp and Chimicles Schwartz Kriner & Donaldson-Smith said they “look forward to paying our clients money.”