We’ve heard of plenty of injuries that were allegedly caused by exploding batteries, but this is a new one. The mother of a 15-year-old boy from Cincinnati, Ohio is suing Apple and 10 unnamed retail employees after her son’s iPod Touch allegedly exploded in his pocket.
According to the lawsuit, the plaintiff had the “iTouch” (as the lawsuit refers to it) in his pants pocket. It was turned off. One day during class, the boy heard a loud pop and immediately felt a burning sensation on his leg. He then stood up and realized his pants were on fire. As soon as he realized that his Apple iTouch had exploded and caught fire in his pocket, the boy ran to the bathroom and took off his burning pants with the assistance of a friend.
The Apple iTouch had burned through the plaintiff’s pants pocket and had melted through his Nylon/Spandex underwear, causing second-degree burns. The boy and his mother are seeking in excess of $225,000 in compensatory and punitive damages. As is customary, an Apple representative said the company does not comment on pending litigation.
The lawsuit further states that Apple and its employees expressed or implied that the Apple iTouch could be carried close to the body in a pants pocket, shirt pocket, or in another pocket, around the neck, or held in the hand. Because the injuries were received as a result of carrying the iTouch in the boy’s pocket, the lawsuit alleges that Apple’s 10 retail employees should have had a duty to test for potential risk that the iTouch could cause serious bodily injury and should warn customers of that risk before purchase.
Many of the cases of exploding batteries we’ve seen to date can be traced to faulty mobile phone batteries and cheap knock-offs that were added by the user after purchase. The iPod Touch doesn’t have a user replaceable battery, however, which makes this case a bit more unique.
Of course, there are always two sides to every story, and we’re sure we haven’t heard the last of this one.