Judge removes himself from Apple Watch suit

Judge removes himself from Apple Watch suit

A judge has removed himself without explanation from a proposed class-action lawsuit against Apple Inc. that questions the company’s alleged claims that its model 6 and 7 watches are water-resistant.

“The court recuses itself on this case,” states a minute order prepared Tuesday by the clerk for Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Stuart M. Rice. The case was sent to supervising Judge David S. Cunningham III for reassignment.

An Apple representative could not be immediately reached for comment.

The plaintiffs in the case filed May 2 are Isabelo Pascual and Ashley Green, who live in Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties, respectively. Pascual bought the series 6 watch and Green the series 7 model. Both were purchased between October 2020 and October 2023.

“Plaintiffs expected the products were swimproof and water resistant,” according to the suit, which includes images of sample Apple watch ads within the pleadings.

Pascual and Green paid more for the watches than they would have had they known they were not swimproof and water resistant, in which case they would have paid less, the suit states.

“Despite using images of the devices in and around water and using marketing language like “H2O, You’re good to go,” “Make a splash with your watch,” “Perfect for swimming, surfing or water balloon fights” and “Swimproof,” the products are not water-resistant as understood by plaintiffs and consumers and routinely fail in brief encounters with water,” the suit alleges.

The plaintiffs seek to represent all people in California who purchased the watches in the state during the statute of limitations periods for each cause of action alleged: violations of the false advertising law, the unfair competition law and the consumer legal remedies act.

The plaintiffs seek restitution, attorneys’ fees and compensatory damages.

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