A federal court in California has given final approval to a settlement that resolves a nationwide class action involving a purported defect affecting the iPhone 4’s cellular network reception, but has reduced the requested attorney’s fees by more than half. In re Apple iPhone 4 Prods. Liab. Litig., No. 5:10-md-2188 RMW (U.S. Dist. Ct., N.D. Cal., San Jose Div., decided August 10, 2012).

The court found that while use of the lodestar method to calculate the fee award was appropriate, “the 2.1x multiplier is not justified in this case. First, the lodestar calculation is very generous in that it includes the time of a multitude of attorneys (more than necessary to efficiently handle the case) at high end rates and based upon what appear to be liberally kept time records. Second, the action involved no motion practice. In addition, while counsel brought this action on a contingent basis, thus incurring the risk of non-payment, the large number of firms competing to represent plaintiffs suggests that such a risk was relatively low.”

 Also noting that the relief provided by the settlement “did not achieve a significant benefit for the class,” the court awarded $2.16 million in fees, rather than the $5.9 million requested.

Also noting that the relief provided by the settlement “did not achieve a significant benefit for the class,” the court awarded $2.16 million in fees, rather than the $5.9 million requested. Under the agreement, those filing a claim before August 28, 2012, are eligible to receive $15, and Apple will extend its “free bumper program,” which apparently fixes the alleged reception problems, for 18 months following discontinuation of the products’ sale.