Class action suit advances against Google, Huawei

By Michael McGrady | Mar 17, 2018

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Tech giants Google and Huawei were dealt a significant blow as a federal district judge in California has dismissed a motion to abandon the proceedings of a class action lawsuit against the two companies for the widespread “bootlooping” controversy with the popular Nexus 6P cell phone.

Before the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California San Jose Division, Judge Beth Labson Freeman ordered the multinational tech companies to “face the music” when it comes to addressing a class action lawsuit that was initiated in April 2017.

“Here, the court dives into the merits of Huawei’s and Google’s Motions to dismiss, which assert the plaintiffs have failed to state a claim on which relief can be granted and that the plaintiffs’ class allegations should be stricken,” Freeman wrote in her 88-page opinion dated March 5, and obtained by Northern California Record

Freeman wrote, “The court hereby grants with leave to amend in part, grants without leave to amend in part, and denies in part Huawei’s and Google’s motions to dismiss,” and ”the court denies Huawei’s and Google’s motions to strike the plaintiffs’ class allegations.”

Freeman, in a small win for Google and Huawei, dismissed further accusations of fraud alleged in an original filing of the lawsuit.

“Huawei and Google contend that the putative nationwide class and the statewide sub-classes are facially overbroad because they include individuals who never experienced problems with their Nexus 6Ps,” Freeman added. 

Individually, claims were dismissed under particular cases relating to fraud, warranty, and “unjust enrichment” claims, according to coverage from MobileSyrup.

Freeman’s opinion also paves the way for a previously filed class action lawsuit against Google and Huawei to proceed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. 

Cory S. Fein of Cory Fein Law Firm of Houston, and Benjamin F. Johns, Andrew W. Ferich, Jessica L. Titler and Chimicles & Tikellis LLP, in pro hac vice, represent the proposed class in the case of Gorbatchev et al. v. Huawei Technologies USA, Inc. et al. 

Proceedings in the overall case will continue into 2018 as the class action is set to proceed without opposition. Currently, no plans for future motions or appeals from defendants are known. 

This case originated in early 2017 when the top-level plaintiff filed suit against the defendants for “bootlooping” issues in his Nexus 6P cell phone. Google and Huawei coordinated on the design and manufacturing of the phone, which was sold as a top-of-the-line product. 

However, as reviews for the Nexus 6P continued to surface, the plaintiff class learned users were watching their phones displaying “Google logo appears on the screen, then the phone, then restarts again, repeatedly, until the phone runs out of battery,” according to Chimicles & Tikellis LLP (C&T).

“Some users reportedly have even wiped their phone’s memory and reflashed Android, to no avail,” C&T added “Reports indicate that this may suggest and support that the bootlooping is caused by a hardware issue. Consumers report that Google tells consumers to seek warranty coverage from Huawei for this issue, too, and that Huawei is largely unhelpful and often stonewalls attempts to obtain warranty coverage.”

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