Judge could reject Apple’s settlement in anti-poaching suit


Judge Lucy Koh
Judge Lucy Koh is considering Michael Devine's request.

U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh may reject a plea put forward by Apple, Google, and two other companies following a lawsuit which accused Apple of participating in anti-poaching practices.

As previously reported, Apple, Adobe, Google, Intel, Intuit, Lucasfilm, and Pixar all stood accused by former employees, although Intuit, Lucasfilm, and Pixar quickly agreed to settle — paying a collective $20 million.

The remaining companies — Apple, Google, Intel, and Adobe — faced a possible damages payout of $3 billion, although this could potentially rise to as much as $9 billion under antitrust laws. After an appeal refusal, the companies ended up settling for the comparatively small tiny of $324.5 million.

Understandably, not everyone was pleased with the result: with plaintiff Michael Devine calling the sum “grossly inadequate,” and demanding that it be rejected. Now it seems that he could get his wish.

Judge Koh apparently shares Devine’s concerns, being quoted as saying in court: “I just have concerns about whether this is really fair to the class.” She has yet to announce whether she’ll allow the $324.5 million settlement go through, although she did previously approve the $20 million settlement for Intuit, Lucasfilm, and Pixar.

In a letter sent to Judge Koh back in May, Devine asked 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.”

Source: Reuters

  • lucascott

    His example is a rather poor one. There is a codified value on that iPad that is set and known before it even hits the shelf.

    The same can’t be said for salaries etc. Yes he would like to believe that he could have asked for whatever he wanted etc if Google had come knocking even though he was at Apple but he can’t prove it. Anymore than he can prove that he would have gotten the job anyway no matter if they came and poached or he tried to walk (and i never saw anyone prove that the anti poaching included refusing to hire someone who voluntarily sought a job outside their current)

    And it’s his lawyers he should be pissed at because they are the ones that worked out the deal .