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Apple faces suit over exploding iPod touch

updated 09:25 am EDT, Mon March 16, 2009

iPod touch explosion suit

Apple faces legal action in the case of an exploding iPod touch, court documents show. An Ohio mother has filed a lawsuit on behalf of her 15-year-old son, whose 16GB Touch is said to have spontaneously caught fire while he was sitting in class. After running to a bathroom to remove his pants, he is said to have discovered that the Touch had burned a hole through both his pocket and his underwear, moreover scorching his leg.

The mother's lawyers claim in fact that the son received second-degree burns, and was victim to "physical and mental conditions which will cause him to suffer pain, mental distress, emotional distress, and otherwise for the rest of his life." An unusual aspect of the suit is that the named defendants include not just Apple as a corporate entity, but the 10 workers present at the Apple Store where the Touch was purchased. The incident also marks the first time in which a Touch is known to have caught on fire, although iPod nanos have caught fire in the past.

Should the case not be settled outside of court, the mother is said to be seeking $75,000 in compensatory damages and $75,000 in punitive damages. On top of this is another $75,000, asked for as payment for legal fees and "special damages." Apple and other companies do typically choose to settle in such circumstances in order to minimize legal costs and publicity.




by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. bleee

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -1

    150K is cheap

    I'm no lawyer but all things considered if that actually what happened regardless of what he suffered it's not alot of money to asker for considering what lawyers cost these days.

  1. Salty

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +2

    150 Thousand?

    A hundred and fifty thousand dollars for a scorched leg. My guess the kid would love Apple forever for paying for his college. I mean I can understand suing in this instance, and I can understand going for blood, but really this is kinda silly. And my goodness he's gonna be damaged for life? Please, he might have some scarring where nobody's gonna see him unless he's naked, and I'm sorry I've had several traumatic things happen to me in my life that I wasn't expecting (anaphalactic shock for example for no reason.)

  1. Salty

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -1

    150 Thousand?

    A hundred and fifty thousand dollars for a scorched leg. My guess the kid would love Apple forever for paying for his college. I mean I can understand suing in this instance, and I can understand going for blood, but really this is kinda silly. And my goodness he's gonna be damaged for life? Please, he might have some scarring where nobody's gonna see him unless he's naked, and I'm sorry I've had several traumatic things happen to me in my life that I wasn't expecting (anaphalactic shock for example for no reason.)

  1. tonewheel

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +1

    Scarred for life?

    The kid is 15 years old. He'll probably remember this, as will his classmates, as a highlight of their high school days.

    Many years ago when I was in college, I went spelunking (caving) with a close friend in southern Indiana. We got lost, the cave flooded, and we would have died if we were rescued when we were. That incident didn't "scar me for life". If anything, it's given me a fear of caves; I think I can live with that.

    Apple should pay all related medical costs, give the kid a new Touch, and a $1,000 credit at the Apple Store. Done. Move on.

  1. jondesu

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +9

    Seriously??

    This lady (as well as her lawyers) lost all credibility when they included all 10 of the employees at the store. Every one of them has probably sold thousands of the devices with no indication that there was any chance of something like this, so unless she can prove that they rigged the device to explode, she should be brought up on charges of contempt of court.

    Of course, I agree that Apple should be willing to pay medical costs if it was indeed their fault (and for a company like that, it's easier to assume that it was a problem with the device and just pay the medical costs), but suing the employees of the store? That's just being a b******.

  1. Athens

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +1

    ...

    The lawsuit is fair, why its a major news story is another story.

    Companies should put a label on products that contain batteries that there is a small risk of fire.

    The kid should get
    1. A sorry from Apple
    2. Credit for a new player of the same value (the kid might not want another ipod touch)
    3. 30 000 for pain and suffering
    4. Pending healing up to 100 000 if there is any perm damage, zero if there isnt.

    That would be reasonable in my eyes

  1. macjockey

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -2

    Scar

    now he has a scar he can show off when he goes to prison.

  1. Fast iBook

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +2

    Mental damages...

    Whoever gets "mental damages" for the rest of their life from something like this is obviously too sensitive to be operating such a high end portable media device IN SCHOOL to begin with.

  1. ibugv4

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -1

    My thoughts

    Fast iBook: What if it was off, headphones in the other pocket, and exploded? Does this change things for you? Probably not because your the type who thinks that cell phones should be banned while on busses or driving in cars and that the mcdonalds coffee lawsuit was a crock of c***. Boo to you.

    They've got a legit case and I'd be demanding more. Ever been thrown out of bed for being uncircumcized? It happens! And I bet having a massive scar on your leg would probably turn off several partners of your choosing in the future too. Sure, some argue it's a filter that weeds out the ones with bad personalities. To the 18 year old college kid living with the scar, they're losing on the score card -- and that's part of the college experience!

    So yeah he's disfigured for life. Is a skin graph possible? How extensive is the damage? There are too many unanswered questions; but this is a really legit lawsuit.

    What if this turns up to be a recall for the batteries in iPods?

    I love what if's.... :D

  1. Athens

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    ...

    And add to that, he had to lose his pants in public at school in all of his friends. For all we know he has a 2inch p**** and will suffer mental scares from the laughter for the rest of his life...

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