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.