Payouts to begin soon in $50 million MacBook keyboard lawsuit

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Apple settled a class-action lawsuit related to its failed butterfly keyboard design back in November. That $50 million settlement has now been given the final go-ahead, and payouts of between $50 and $395 to MacBook users will begin soon.

The history of the butterfly keyboard

The butterfly keyboard first made its debut with the 12-inch MacBook in 2015. From there, Apple expanded the design into its MacBook Air and MacBook Pro, despite concerns about durability and reliability.

Butterfly keyboard users reported issues such as keys getting stuck or breaking, unexpected double letters, and more. From 2015 to 2019, the butterfly keyboard underwent several revisions, but none managed to fully address the issues faced by MacBook users.

In turn, Apple faced multiple class action lawsuits across the United States. Apple offered a free keyboard replacement service, but this wasn’t an ideal solution as the broken keyboards were simply being replaced with another one likely to fail in the same way.

In November, Apple settled the class action lawsuit, with a judge approving a proposal to pay $50 million to affected customers. While a substantial portion of this sum will go to the attorneys, the remaining amount will be allocated to MacBook users who were impacted by the butterfly keyboard saga.

Final approval granted

As reported by Reuters, the $50 million class-action settlement was given final approval by a US judge this week. The judge called the settlement “fair, adequate, and reasonable” in his ruling. Under the agreement, affected MacBook users will receive between $50 and $395 as a settlement.

Some members of the class-action lawsuit had argued that the middle tier of the settlement is insufficient. Under the payout structure, this tier pays out $125 to MacBook users who obtained a single keyboard replacement from Apple.

In the ruling today, however, U.S. District Judge Edward Davila rejected those claims. “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 wrote.

Some MacBook users also argued that the settlement should include “compensation to MacBook owners who experienced keyboard failures but who did not get them repaired.” This, too, was rejected by Davila.

The window to submit your claim for the lawsuit expired back in March. More than 86,000 claims were submitted, according to today’s announcement.

There’s no word on when exactly payouts to class members will begin. The lawyers in the case, from Girard Sharp and Chimicles Schwartz Kriner & Donaldson-Smith, said they “look forward to getting the money out to our clients.”

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