A case led by Norfolk County Council against Apple has been granted class-action status by a judge in California.
The Council claims a pension fund it runs lost money after Apple allegedly misled shareholders in 2018 about the performance of its business in China.
Judge Yvonne Gonzalez-Rogers’ decision means Apple could face significantly larger damages if it loses.
Norfolk County Council is involved in the case because it runs multi-billion pound Norfolk Pension Fund whose members include council members, as well as workers from other public bodies.
Acting in its capacity as the administrator of the fund, and as the lead plaintiff in the case, the council is suing Apple, its chief executive Tim Cook and Luca Maestri, the firm’s chief financial officer.
The legal action – which also includes a number of US pension funds – was launched in 2020 and has vigorously contested by Apple.
The council alleges that in late 2018, the “defendants misrepresented the state of Apple’s business in Greater China, the company’s most important growth market at the time”.