Judge denies Apple and T-Mobile’s arbitration argument


Just recently, a New York judge rejected Apple Inc. and its co-defendant T-Mobile USA Inc.’s argument to arbitrate consumer disputes behind closed doors. According to the judge, the consumer privacy lawsuit must continually be fought by Apple in open court. 

Usually, companies prefer arbitration since it is a quicker option. They also have a say in who the judges should be and the rulings are final with only limited rights to appeal. 

Unfortunately, US District Judge Lorna G. Schofield in New York rejected Apple and T-Mobile’s arguments that the provisions in the latter’s terms and conditions require the disputes from consumers to be arbitrated. 

“Apple is not a party to the T-Mobile agreement, and Apple has not shown that it can enforce it.” ruled Schofield. 

The case in discussion refers to the claim by consumers on a certain iPhone operating system flaw that when paired with a recycled T-Mobile phone number, gave users unauthorized access to previous communications of its users. The breach violates a promise made by both companies that iMessage and Facetime features are secure. 

The lawyers for the consumers hailed the judge’s ruling as a victory. They were pleased that Schofield “recognized the significant merit and far-reaching impact of plaintiffs’ claims for a broad class of iPhone users.”


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  • SlopeTangentAnswer

    Why would you say “unfortunately” in this context?

    • JR

      Exactly. Why would you be against a ruling that benefits consumers?

      • marque2

        Because ultimately consumers pay for these types of mistakes. And often these cases are phony charges where lawyers are just trying to dig some cash out of a company. This case seems legit though, but if Tmobile loses – I expect my service will improve slower, my rates might go up …

    • Sayahh

      “Unfortunate” for Apple and for T-Mo, the latter of which this site promotes but unsure if supported financially.

      Definitely a win for consumers.

    • Loco Mole

      She — the writer — is “new” at this. English composition is not her forte.

  • Mike Thaler

    The only people who win lawsuits are lawyers!

  • Shaun Michalak

    Can someone explain this to me a little better.. because from what I am getting out of it, the problem stems from a customer with an apple account, ties their account to their phone, doesn’t disable that device from their list of known devices, and then when someone else buys that used phone, they can then get access to that persons apple account.. But if the person would just unsync that device from their account at first, then this would not happen.. and this is only effecting apple accounts, with apple phones.. If that is the case, I am somehow missing how this is T-Mobiles fault other then them selling used phones??