Product liability lawyers at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm report of a recent lawsuit filed by a woman in Texas who suffered burn injuries after her iPod Touch exploded near her face.
The plaintiff, Tina King, is claiming that in 2011, she was laying on her bed listening to music with her iTouch beside her. Suddenly, she felt a burning sensation near eye, and sat up to realize the iTouch had exploded. She is claiming that the explosion and consequent electrical shock severely burned her eye, leading to an array of damages.
King is accusing Apple of selling her a defectively produced and designed product. She is also accusing Apple of failing to warn her about the possibility of electrical shock explosions when she bought the iPod, stating she would not have purchased the product if she was aware there was a risk of serious bodily injury.
The lawsuit alleges that Apple was negligent in promoting and representing the product as an object for personal use to carry on one’s person because the product was unfit and unsafe for this type of use. Apple is also accused of failing to adequately train and supervise its employees, suppliers, and subcontractors, and failing to protect consumers from sudden iPod failure.
King and her attorneys requested a jury trial, and she is seeking damages for pain and suffering, medical bills, mental and emotional distress, scarring, disability, and loss of enjoyment of daily activities. King’s iTouch was an A1136 model and was purchased at an Oklahoma City Apple Store.
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Though this case may seem unique, similar lawsuits have popped up across the globe in recent years. In 2009, a 15-year-old boy was sitting in class when he heard a loud popping noise. Soon after, he felt a burning sensation on his leg, and realized his iTouch, which was switched off and not in use, had exploded and caught fire inside his pocket. As his pants were burning, the boy immediately ran into the bathroom to throw water on the small fire.
The iTouch reportedly burned through his pant leg, melted through his underwear, and severely burned his leg, causing second-degree burns. He sought upwards of $200,000 in punitive and compensatory damages.
Many of these fire and explosion issues are blamed on the iPod’s rechargeable lithium batteries, as such batteries have been the cause of fires in laptops in the past. In 2011, Apple issued a replacement program for its iPod nano because it could overheat and pose a safety risk to consumers. The defect was traced back to a single battery supplier with problems in its manufacturing.
Similarly, in 2007, Nokia recalled more than 45 million cell phone batteries due to risks of overheating. The batteries could short circuit and overheat while being charged. More than 100 incidents of overheating were reported; fortunately, there were no serious injuries.
Apple was under fire in 2009 for trying to conceal investigative reports from the media and public. The investigations were filed with the Consumer Product Safety Commission, which eventually released the 800-page reports. The investigations proved that more than a few consumers were burned by the iPods, even though the company told nearly all of its affected customers that their experiences were isolated incidents.
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The risk of fire is a serious hazard in any product, but especially in those that are so immensely popular and commonly used. Apple iPod lawyers at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm warn consumers of this overheating risk, and urge anyone injured by a defective product to contact an experienced product liability attorney as soon as possible.