Apple sued over fatal apartment fire allegedly caused by iPad

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Fees Apple charges competitors to appear in the App Store are the target of an EU investigation.
Fire resulted in the death of an apartment tenant.
Photo: Pexels

An insurance firm and apartment complex in New Jersey are suing Apple over a fire allegedly involving an iPad. The February 2017 fire caused the death of apartment tenant, Bradley Ireland.

The lawsuit claims that the tablet was, “unreasonably dangerous and unsafe for its intended purpose.” This is due to, “defects in its design[,] manufacture and/or a lack of adequate warnings.” It says that Apple should be aware that the lithium-ion battery used in the iPad is dangerous. The battery is described as an, “ultrahazardous mechanism capable of causing damage, even when reasonably used.”

The plaintiffs in this case are Union Management and Greater New York Mutual Insurance Company. They filed the case last week. They are hoping for a jury trial, resulting in the paying of compensation.

This isn’t the first lawsuit aimed at Apple regarding this case. Julia Ireland Meo, wife of the late Bradley Ireland, filed a lawsuit in February. It asks Apple for unspecified damages. The suit claims”strict products liability,” “wrongful death” and “survival action” as the claims against Apple.

Lithium-ion battery issues

There are no more details available in the case. That makes it difficult to speculate about details in this very sad incident. However, there were no mass reports of large scale iPad battery issues at the time. Nor did Apple carry out any kind of product recall. That suggests that this incident was likely a tragic one-off incident.

Both iPhones and iPads rely on lithium-ion batteries. These can explode or catch fire on occasion. This can be caused either by a manufacturing fault or because of damage which cause the battery’s electrodes to touch. In some instances, questionable third-party chargers have also caused devices to experience these faults.

In 2018, an Apple Store in Amsterdam was evacuated when an iPad began emitting vapors. Three Apple Store employees were checked over by ambulance personnel.

Just late week, Apple announced that it was recalling certain 15-inch MacBook Pro laptops because of possible battery issues. Apple said that the laptops, “contain a battery that may overheat and pose a safety risk.”

We’ll keep you updated on how this iPad fire lawsuit proceeds.

Source: The Register