Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Against Apple Over Allegedly Defective Displays

A federal court judge in California has dismissed a lawsuit against Apple over alleged problems with iMac screens shipped in 2006.

The dismissal comes just as Apple deals with reported problems with displays on the 27-inch iMacs that just debuted in October.

The suit, filed by Aram Hovsepian of Florida late last year, charged that Apple shipped displays with manufacturing defects and failed to warn consumers about the problems. Hovsepian bought an iMac G5 in October 2006 and he said vertical lines began to appear on the display after the warranty period expired.

Hovsepian had sought to have his complaint become a class-action suit that included all people in the U.S. who purchased an iMac. But Judge Jeremy Fogel dismissed the suit saying the class could not be defined, given that it included users who had no problems with their iMacs and so had no right to sue.

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The judge left open the possibility that the plaintiff could refile the suit with more detail and decrease the scope of the potential number of affected consumers.

Last week reports began surfacing of flickering, yellow tinges and other problems with the displays of the 27-inch iMacs Apple began shipping in October. This week Apple issued a graphics firmware update for the system's ATI Radeon HD 4670 and 4850 graphics cards used by the new iMacs. Apple said the update was designed "to address issues that may cause image corruption or the display to flicker," according to an Apple support site.

There have been mixed reports from consumers on whether the firmware update has resolved the latest problems.