A New York federal court recently granted Apple a motion to dismiss a case where an alleged class accused Apple of misleading consumers about the waterproof nature of their iPhones. Apple had several allegedly misleading advertisements about their iPhones, with advertisements stating that the iPhone 11 is “water resistant up to 2 m for 30 min.” The court granted Apple’s motion to dismiss because the plaintiffs did not allege how they were harmed by Apple’s advertisements. Apple’s user manuals and warranties also disclaimed coverage for liquid damage. While the plaintiffs’ phones allegedly malfunctioned due to some amount of water contact, the court found that the plaintiffs failed to plead that their iPhones were damaged due to their reliance on the advertisements. Additionally, the plaintiffs failed to identify any warranty claiming that Apple’s products could withstand water damage.
Putting it into Practice: This case serves as a good reminder that brands should ensure that their advertising claims are truthful and properly substantiated. Additionally, to the extent that brands get sued, having protective terms like warranties, disclaimers and manuals with clear disclosures could help brands limit liability.