Apple’s $50 million class-action settlement for a customer claims over the butterfly keyboard design used in some models of the MacBook laptops has been approved by the U.S. Federal court and payouts are expected to begin soon.

Apple’s Butterfly Keyboard Settlement Payouts are Imminetent

In May 2018, two MacBook owners, Kyle Barbaro and Zixuan Rao, filed a class action lawsuit against Apple for its butterfly keyboard design, which had been built into the Macbook and MacBook Pro models of the device from 2015 onwards.

While Apple marketed the new design as “much more precise, and accurate” and claimed that it was “four times more stable than that scissor mechanism” which enabled it to produce slimmer devices, the device owners complained that the keyboards were prone to dust and other debris, making them fail.

According to the lawsuit, the keyboards’ keys would stick, stop registering keystrokes, or randomly register double keystrokes as a result of the flawed design. The lawsuit further accused Apple of failing to offer enough repair and troubleshooting assistance to users.

Despite the numerous changes that were made to the butterfly keyboard between 2015 and 2019, none were able to totally resolve the problems experienced by MacBook users.

In response to the lawsuit, the tech giant offered free keyboard replacements for all affected users but this wasn’t the best option because the damaged keyboards were only swapped out for new but identical ones that were bound to malfunction the same way.

Eventually, the tech company reverted back to a more conventional keyboard design called the ‘Magic Keyboard’ in 2019.

Regarding the lawsuit, Apple agreed to a $ 50 million settlement to all members of the class action lawsuit which only included users from California, New York, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, Washington, and Michigan.

“Fair, Adequate, and Reasonable”

The Butterfly Keyboard settlement agreement allows Apple not to acknowledge any faults and divides the payments into three tiers. The first category entails users who got at least two top case replacements who will receive the highest payouts of between $300 and $395.

The second category consists of those who had one or more keycap replacements who will receive the lowest payouts of $50 and the last category has users who only had a single replacement for the top casing who will receive $125.

The approving order, which was issued by the U.S. District Judge Edward Davila, stated that the payouts will be made to all claims filed by March, which are over 86,000 claims. It also approved that of the $50 million, 30%, that is $15 million, will be paid to the attorney as legal fees.

Before the approval, the settlement received challenges including one that claimed that the $125 compensation for one of the class member groups was insufficient because keyboard repairs can run upwards of $300.

However, Judge Davila termed the settlement to be “fair, adequate, and reasonable” and added:

“The possibility that a better settlement may have been reached — or that the benefits provided under the settlement will not make class members ‘whole’ — are insufficient grounds to deny approval.”

Davila additionally wrote that “while not all who were purportedly injured will receive compensation, the settlement compromise benefits a significant number of individuals,” in rejection of a challenge that claimed it was unreasonable to withhold any compensation from MacBook users who had keyboard issues but did not get them fixed.

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