Plaintiff protests $324 million settlement in Apple anti-poaching case


Judge Lucy Koh
Judge Lucy Koh

Apple might be among the companies which settled the Silicon Valley anti-poaching dispute out of court last month, but one plaintiff isn’t happy — calling the $324 million settlement “grossly inadequate.”

The trial was supposed to begin at the end of May, which would have potentially led to months of revelations about Apple’s anti-poaching practices. Ultimately the four tech companies involved, including Apple and Google, settled for $324 million: a figure substantially lower than the $3 billion in damages requested by the suit, or the $9 billion which could have been awarded if the defendants were found to be guilty in court.

However, 46-year-old freelance programmer Michael Devine — one the 64,000 tech workers involved in the class action lawsuit — says the companies are getting off too lightly, and has sent a letter to Judge Lucy H. Koh of United States District Court for the Northern District of California, asking her to reject the deal that Devine’s own lawyers negotiated.

In his letter, Devine asks whether a similar situation would have occurred if this were a shoplifter being caught stealing a $400 iPad, then being asked to pay Apple $40, and allowed to keep the iPad and walk away with no record or admission of wrongdoing.

“Of course not, nor is such a resolution appropriate in our case. Perhaps, though, the prevalence of corporate crime is in part due to the absence of real justice for the victims in the courtroom? Why, with such uniquely compelling evidence in hand, would we short circuit this case? Please, Your Honor, allow us our day in court.”

While Judge Koh has yet to respond, her decision will determine whether the issue is worthy of a court trial. Apple is obviously hoping she decides “no.”

Source: NY Times

  • sigzero

    It will stand. There is no way they are going to pay out 3 billion.

  • DarthDisney

    I agree with Devine, but doubt the judge will agree. This shit always ends up in the corporations favor.

  • Rick Pruden

    Although I think corporations need to keep labor costs down for numerous reasons, this settlement works out to just a few thousand bucks per member of the class action. No wonder he is upset.

  • Grunt_at_the_Point

    In any Class Acton, and rightfully so, there will always be some who are not happy. There are risks when one takes a case to trail. If one feels strongly about his position then he fights the case by himself.