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Plaintiff In Apple's Anti-Poaching Suit Calls Settlement 'Grossly Inadequate'

Plaintiff In Apple's Anti-Poaching Suit Calls Settlement 'Grossly Inadequate'

May 13, 2014

Apple, Google, Intel, and Adobe settled an anti-poaching dispute out of court last month, however one plaintiff (pictured above) is now declaring the $324 million settlement to be “grossly inadequate” and has called for the deal to be rejected.

The news comes from The New York Times (via AppleInsider), which explains that the lawsuit was “on track to go to trial in San Jose, Calif., at the end of May.” If the dispute reached court, “weeks if not months of damaging revelations” concerning Apple’s anti-poaching practices would have been publicly disclosed, the publication notes:

Michael Devine, a 46-year-old freelance programmer who is one of the four plaintiffs named in the suit, thinks the companies are getting off far too lightly. In a very rare form of protest, he sent a letter this weekend to the judge in the case, Lucy H. Koh of United States District Court for the Northern District of California, asking her to reject the deal that his own lawyers negotiated.

As we explained back in October, Apple, Google, Intel, Adobe, and a selection of other Silicon Valley companies are accused of conspiring to hold down workers’ wages by agreeing not to hire one another’s staff. Though a number of the accused companies including Intuit, Lucasfilm, and Pixar agreed to settle almost immediately, Apple et al. instead unsuccessfully appealed the decision and earlier this year were faced with a lawsuit.

As noted above, the companies then settled for $324 million – a figure significantly lower than the $3 billion in damages requested by the suit (a number which could have risen to as much as $9 billion if the defendents were found to be guilty in court).

For Devine, this isn’t enough. He said:

As an analogy, if a shoplifter is caught on video stealing a $400 iPad from the Apple Store, would a fair and just resolution be for the shoplifter to pay Apple $40, keep the iPad, and walk away with no record or admission of wrongdoing. Of course not, nor is such a resolution appropriate in our case.

It’s now up to Judge Lucy Koh to decide whether the matter is worthy of a court trial. For Apple, it’d of course be more agreeable for the disagreement to stay out of court, though justice may take a different route. We’ll keep you updated with further information as we receive it.

In the meantime, see: Mockups Of Apple’s Bigger iPhone 6 Are Compared In 2 New Videos, AppAdvice Daily: Get Romantic The App Way And Check Out A Great New Photo Editor, and AppAdvice App Of The Week For May 12, 2014.

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