Man Sues Apple for Exploding iPhone

A South Carolina man is suing Apple after sustaining injuries from the explosion of his iPhone 6. The phone’s battery exploded, setting his clothing on fire. Ronnie Portee filed a complaint in federal court on July 31st, alleging that he suffered fom burns to his clothing as well as second- and third-degree burns to his body, permanent scarring, and now walks with a limp caused by severe nerve damage. He has gone through multiple surgeries due to the injuries he sustained.

iPhone Battery Causes Burns

Portee complaint states that on October 25, 2016, after he finished speaking to his wife on it and using it as per usual, he placed his iPhone 6 in his pocket and plugged it into the its charger – the charger with which the phone came. According to court documents, “Mr. Portee neither misused nor materially altered the iPhone.” After a bit of time had passed, he claims to have experienced “extreme heat” and felt “the crackling of the clothes on his body burning.” He allegedly fell and tore off his clothes, before his son rushed him to an area hospital. His burns were so severe that he had to be airlifted to the nearest burn center and underwent several surgeries. He is seeking $75,000

A Lack of Safety Features

The lawsuit, filed on August 2nd against newly trillion dollar Apple, as well as Asurion Insurance Service, Inc., the provider of the phone, hinges on the lack of safety features enabled to stop the phone battery from becoming overheated, thereby deeming the phone defective. As per the suit, “the iPhone design was defective because the danger associated with the use of the iPhone as designed outweighs its utility.” According to George T. Sink, Jr., one of Portee’s attorneys, despite Apple’s knowledge that the phone could explode when it was put on the market, “the phone did not include a sufficient warning to inform users that the phone battery was overheating or of the extreme risk faced by its users.”

A History of Notice

This is not the first time that consumers have had issues with the safety of their iPhones. Over the past few years, there have been reports of iPhones catching fire, exploding, and causing multiple injuries and in one instance, even catching on fire in an Apple store. Pierced lithium batteries in mobile phones are generally the culprits for their explosions. The piercing of one of these batteries is similar to connecting metal wires to the positive and negative ends of the battery and then bringing those wires together. Known as “electrical arcing,” this reaction can cause a phone battery to combust. According to an article on The Verge, a tech website, overcharging a battery may cause it to eventually explode due to making the battery too hot and subsequently causing the battery’s internal components to break down and combine with one another. It’s safe to say that Portee will not be using an iPhone any time soon. “I got an Android,” he said.

If you have suffered a burn injury from a situation similar to this one, it is best that you consult with a personal injury attorney right away. Contact Dickman Law Office today to schedule a consultation.

Posted in: Personal Injury