Apple facing lawsuit over exploding iPod touch

JR Raphael
16 March, 2009
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A mother from Ohio, USA says her son’s iPod Touch exploded in his pants, caught fire, and left him with serious burns. Now, she’s suing Apple for $225,000 ($A342,000) in damages.

The lawsuit, filed in Cincinnati on Wednesday, claims the 16GB iPod touch exploded while inside the 15-year-old boy’s pants pocket. The boy was sitting at his desk in school, the document says, when he “heard a loud pop and immediately felt a burning sensation on his leg.” When he stood up, the suit says, he realised the device was on fire.

“[He] immediately ran to the bathroom and took off his burning pants with the assistance of a friend,” the lawsuit states. “The Apple [iPod Touch] had burned through [his] pants pocket and melted through his Nylon/Spandex underwear, burning his leg.”

The boy is said to have suffered second-degree burns along with other “physical and mental conditions which will cause him to suffer pain, mental distress, emotional distress, and otherwise for the rest of his life.”

The family is demanding $US75,000 ($A114,000) in “compensatory damages,” another $US75,000 in “punitive damages,” and yet another $US75,000 in legal fees and other “special damages.”

The suit names both Apple and the group of 10 employees who were at the Apple Store when the device was purchased as defendants. Apple has a policy against discussing legal issues while they are still pending.

You can read the lawsuit in its entirety here (PDF).

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