Apple is suing a Canadian recycling company for more than $22 million claiming it re-sold more than 100,000 devices instead of disposing of the products as it had been hired to, according to recent reports.
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The Tim Cook-led tech giant sued GEEP Canada in January alleging that GEEP, which is now owned by Quantum Lifecycle Partners LP, had stolen at least 18% of the more than 575,000 Apple products that it was hired to recycle, AppleInsider.com reported, citing The Logic. The court papers were recently made public, according to the report.
From January 2015 to December 2017 Apple sent GEEP 531,966 iPhones, 19,277 watches and 25,673 iPads to be recycled, but company officials grew suspicious after conducting an audit of GEEP’s warehouse, the report states. Apple subsequently searched each device’s serial number and found that at least 103,845 were active,which didn't include non-LTE devices, according to the outlet.
"At least 11,766 pounds of Apple devices left GEEP's premises without being destroyed - a fact that GEEP itself confirmed," Apple’s lawsuit reportedly states.
A Quantum Lifecycle Partners LP spokesperson referred FOX Business to a blog post shared to its website on Thursday, which states: “Quantum is NOT party to this lawsuit and has no knowledge of it beyond what is publicly known.”
The blog post states that when Quantum acquired GEEP Canada and another company, GEEP maintained the liability from the Apple lawsuit. It also notes that the lawsuit was filed just three months after the Quantum and GEEP transaction.
An Apple spokesperson told FOX Business Apple strives to refurbish as many devices as possible each year, including more than 10 million last year.
“After rigorous testing, some products cannot be refurbished to meet Apple’s industry-leading safety and quality standards and are either recycled by Apple or sent to specialist recyclers, where we work closely with our partners to recover key materials that can be used in future products,” the spokesperson said. “Products sent for recycling are no longer adequate to sell to consumers and if they are rebuilt with counterfeit parts they could cause serious safety issues, including electrical or battery defects."
Apple is seeking $31 million, or $22.7 million U.S. dollars, court filings confirm, in addition to any profits recovered as a result of the resales.
Meanwhile, AppleInsider.com reported GEEP is seeking for three of its employees to cover the damages and lawsuit-related costs.