A New Jersey family has filed a new personal injury lawsuit against Apple after a man died following a fire they say was caused by an iPad.
The case is pending in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey and was filed by the deceased’s sister, who brings wrongful death and survivor’s action claims.
Plaintiffs Claim Apple iPad Caused the Deadly Fire
According to the complaint, the deceased was living in a rental apartment complex on Parsippany Road, New Jersey, at the time of the incident. On February 22, 2017, a fire broke out in the residence. The deceased was 64 years old at the time and was inside when the fire occurred. He suffered from severe burns and died later that day in the hospital.
The family claims that the Apple iPad, which was located in the kitchen, sparked the fire—specifically, the tablet’s battery pack. They blame Apple for defectively designing and/or manufacturing the tablet.
The plaintiffs bring counts of strict products liability, wrongful death, and survival action, noting that the decedent experienced significant pain, suffering, and impairment between the time of his burns and the time of his death on the same day.
Other Apple Products Have Been Known to Overheat
This is not the first time a family has sought help from Apple because of a battery-related fire. About a year ago, a family in British Columbia running a farm business blamed the company for a house fire they say was caused by an iPhone 6, which they had left charging in the living room. The fire started in the living room in October 2016, and the flames consumed almost everything.
Investigators concluded the flames originated on the chair where the iPhone had been charging. The family received a $600,000 insurance payout, but that did not cover all the costs. They could not continue their vegetable delivery program and also had to cancel planned celebrity chef dinners and school tours. They started rebuilding their home but ran out of funds to finish it.
According to the family, they wrote to Apple asking for help, but despite a number of calls, did not receive assistance. After figuring up their uninsured losses, the family shared their story on social media, calling on Apple to cover those losses, which they said totaled an additional $600,000.
Batteries like those in the iPad and iPhone are lithium-ion batteries, which have been reported to short-circuit and overheat. A few months after the family in British Columbia suffered their fire, the Apple Store in Amsterdam was evacuated because of an apparent overheating iPad battery. Though it did not cause a fire, it emitted vapors that caused three employees to feel unwell enough that they were checked over by emergency personnel.
These incidences are rare in the overall scheme of things, but when they do occur, they can cause extreme damages to property, as well as severe burns and related injuries. To reduce your risk of having an overheated battery, among other things, keep your devices cool and away from sun exposure and use only approved charging cords and tools.
Exclusively focused on representing plaintiffs, especially in mass tort litigation, Eric Chaffin prides himself on providing unsurpassed professional legal services in pursuit of the specific goals of his clients and their families. Both his work and his cases have been featured in the national press, including on ABC’s Good Morning America.