Judge gives go-ahead to disgruntled parents to pursue lawsuit.
The case has been festering for a while. Last year, a federal judge in California consolidated a series of class action suits from parents unhappy about the bills racked for so-called 'bait Apps' that tempt kids to download virtual items.
Apps like Smurfs' Village has caused particular anguish, with some children running up bills of several hundred dollars.
Apple filed to dismiss the action, having taken measures such as the option to switch off in-app payments within an app.
Previously, Apple had permitted a a 15-minute window after the password was entered in which players could buy what they liked without a password.
Now, U.S. District Judge Edward Davila has upheld four of the parents’ five claims, including allegations that Apple violated consumer protection laws by falsely marketing the apps as free:
A statement read: "Contrary to Apple’s argument, Plaintiffs have alleged with specificity which misrepresentations they were exposed to, their reliance on those misrepresentations, and the resulting harm. Plaintiffs pled specific facts that Apple “actively advertised, marketed and promoted its bait Apps as ‘free’ or nominal."
Apple is expected to file its defence on May 24th.