|Man Alleges Apple 'Deceived' Him About 'Breaking Bad' Episodes|
|By ALEXIS SHAW (@ashaw109)||Sep 10, 2013, 9:40 AM|
Apparently hell hath no fury like a "Breaking Bad" viewer scorned.
A fan of the show has filed a federal class action against Apple, alleging its iTunes service "deceived" him when he purchased a Season Pass to watch "Breaking Bad."
The cable channel AMC announced in May 2012 it planned to evenly split up the 16 episodes of the fifth and final season of "Breaking Bad" and air them over two summers. The network showed the first eight episodes of the season beginning in July 2012. The second eight episodes premiered in summer 2013.
So when Noam Lazebnik, a doctor in Cleveland, bought his Season Pass in September 2012, he "relied upon Apple's promise that the Season Pass would include all current and future episodes of season five," according to the lawsuit.
But when the second half of season five became available on iTunes in August 2013, Lazebnik learned he would need to pay $22.99 to watch "Breaking Bad" episodes nine through 16, which Apple treated as a different season, the lawsuit states.
Lazebnik filed a class action in the U.S. District Court in the Northern District of California on Sept. 6, alleging he "was unfairly deceived, misled and taken advantage of by Apple's promise to deliver something it never intended to provide," according to the suit.
"When a consumer buys a ticket to a football game, he does not have to leave at halftime. When a consumer buys an opera ticket, he does not get kicked out at intermission. When a consumer buys a 'Season Pass' to a full season of a television show on iTunes, that consumer should get access to the whole season," the complaint said.
Lazebnik's attorney, Nicholas DiCello, told ABCNews.com that his client was not the only "Breaking Bad" iTunes Season Pass holder claiming that Apple misled them.
"This television show, it goes without saying, is one of the most downloaded programs on iTunes," DiCello said. "If you look on a lot of websites, there are a lot of messages from people who've experienced the same kind of thing."
Season five of the series was the third most downloaded series on iTunes in 2012, behind "Downtown Abbey" and "The Walking Dead," according to Mashable, a website for digital news.
Lazebnik is seeking $20 in damages, according to the lawsuit, since Apple refunded him $2.99 for making a standalone purchase of episode nine, according to the suit.
"While $20 may not seem like a lot of money for an individual, when you're talking about hundreds of thousands, or potentially millions of season downloads, then the damages could be substantial," DiCello said.
If the class action succeeds, each individual involved would be reimbursed either the cost of a high definition or standard definition "Breaking Bad" Season Pass, DiCello said. The damages for every member of the class action would be different, though. They could be calculated "by taking the cost of the episodes they were or will be inappropriately denied ... and, where applicable, reducing that amount by any related rebates they might have received," the lawsuit stated.
Attorney's fees are separate from the class action recovery, and are decided independently by the court, DiCello said.
DiCello said that the attorneys working on the case have already been contacted by others who are interested in joining the lawsuit.
Neither AMC nor Apple immediately responded to ABC News' emails and phone calls requesting comment.