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Court throws out allegations in MACadam vs. Apple case


A Superior Court in Northern California last week ruled that Apple's resellers have provided enough evidence to proceed with charges that the company allegedly committed acts of fraud and negligent misrepresentation.

In an August 26th hearing in the case of MACadam Computers vs. Apple Computer, the Santa Clara Superior Court ruled that the Apple reseller could proceed with charges of fraud and negligent misrepresentation against Apple, despite the computer maker's objections.

According to court documents received by AppleInsider, the Court also rejected two motions by Apple that moved to strike allegations of unfair competition and illegal receipt of funds. The Court ruled that MACadam could proceed with its claims against Apple for unfair competition in its retail division and illegally receiving funds belonging to the resellers.

However, the court also sided with Apple, saying that some of MACadam's claims did not have enough merit to continue. The Court said that Apple could not be held liable for a violation of the Consumer Legal Remedies Act, citing a failure to state facts sufficient to constitute a cause of action.

The presiding judge said he would re-review Apple's objection to accusations by resellers that Apple violated the Unruh Act and Civil Code, after giving MACadam 20 days leave to amend and resubmit that portion of its complaint. The Act is meant to cover all arbitrary and intentional discrimination by a business establishment on the basis of personal characteristics, such as sex, race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, disability, or medical condition, but is not necessarily limited to those characteristics.

Last year, three Apple resellers filed law suits against the company in California courts, including San Francisco-based MACadam Computers.

The resellers charge Apple with breach of contract and fraud, claiming that the computer maker damaged their businesses by withholding pay for repairs they made under warranty, by overcharging them for parts, by charging resellers higher fees for Apple hardware then it does its own retail stores, and by expressing a low opinion of resellers in an effort to gain more direct sales business.

In April, the same three resellers launched a Web site to document and share information concerning unethical or illegal business dealings by the computer maker.