Judge Puts Pressure On Apple By Consolidating Lawsuits Over Undelivered Texts

Yesterday, Judge Lucy Koh made a ruling that affects two separate lawsuits filed against Apple involving the company’s alleged failure to deliver text messages to the intended recipient after users switched from iPhones with iMessage to Android.

The first case was filed in May by plaintiffs Adam Backhaut, Joy Backhaut, and Kenneth Morris, arguing that Apple was violating the Stored Communications Act and the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (commonly referred to as the Wiretap Act) by intercepting messages from their intended recipient.

The second case was filed a day later by plaintiff Adrienne Moore, who made a number of claims against Apple, many of which were denied by the judge. However, Moore’s case was passed earlier this week on one claim having to do with Apple’s alleged interference with her current wireless contract with her Android provider.

Judge Koh (who has her own history with Apple) consolidated the Backhaut case and the Moore case into a single lawsuit yesterday, requesting that a complete, amended complaint be filed with the courts no later than December 4.

All three parties, counsel for Backhaut, Moore, and Apple, asked not to be consolidated into a single case, as the theories waged by each of the plaintiffs is very different.

Judge Koh also yesterday confirmed that at least part of the Backhaut claim would be pushed through, but didn’t specify which claims would survive to go to court. This means that Apple will be facing arguments from multiple angles as it tries to knock down these claims before Class Action certification takes place.

Though both plaintiffs seek to get Class certification for this case, that decision won’t be made until the summer of 2015.

If you want to check out the Moore complaint, click here. The original Backhaut complaint is embedded below:

Backhaut v Apple Inc