Judge tosses lawsuit targeting allegedly faulty iPhone 4 power button

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
A U.S. district court judge on Wednesday threw out a case leveled by two iPhone owners who claimed the allegedly "wiggly" power buttons of some iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S handsets are hazards to users.

iPhone 4 Power Button
iPhone 4 power button flex cable. | Source: iFixit


According to court minutes, U.S. District Judge Gary Feess denied the request by Ross Missaghi and Charles Thompson to bring Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) claims against Apple and AT&T over an allegedly faulty iPhone power button design, reports GigaOm.

In their complaint, first filed in February, the plaintiffs alleged Apple knew that a power button design flaw existed in the iPhone 4 and 4S, but did nothing to rectify the situation.

A number of scenarios were cited that looked to prove possible harm from the purported defect, which apparently does not allow a user to turn off their phone. One of the more quizzical allegations involved taking a faulty iPhone on a plane.

From the dismissal:
Thus, every time [Plaintiffs] or another owner of a defective iPhone 4 or iPhone 4s brings the device on an airplane, unless the individual has thought ahead and gone through the inconvenience and time required to allow the battery to drain, the defect causes potential interference with ?communications, navigation, flight control, and electronic equipment? in the airplane. The defect thus presents a safety hazard not only to the owner, but to everyone else on the airplane, as well as potentially people on the ground.
Judge Feess ultimately dismissed the claim, saying the plaintiffs failed to prove a breach of warranty and RICO.

The court will allow one final opportunity at an amended pleading of liability, which must be filed by Sept. 13.

A nearly identical case was lodged against Apple in May claiming much the same as the now tossed suit. In that case, the plaintiff argued that the flex cable mechanism attached to the power button would become inoperable after extended use, usually after Apple's one-year warranty had expired.

The second case, which also looks to bring a class action against Apple, is still in court.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 34
    hill60hill60 Posts: 6,989member


    Settings>Airplane Mode

  • Reply 2 of 34
    mechanicmechanic Posts: 805member
    What a stupid lawsuit. My Daughter owns my iPhone 4 that is now 4 years old, and the power button is still going strong, and my iPhone 4S now 2 years old has no issues either.
  • Reply 3 of 34
    drblankdrblank Posts: 3,383member
    Yeah, I have a 1 1/2 year old Power Button on an iPhone 4 that works just fine. I know one person that it didn't work, but I told him to bring it back to Apple since it was before the warranty was up.

    A lot of people don't bring their device into Apple soon enough, that happens too.

    Either way, they were trying to sue thinking the power button was a hazard, which it isn't.
  • Reply 4 of 34
    We need to change the laws to force folks to pay the defendant's lawyer and any filing fees for all lawsuits. They'll change their minds about filing stupid suits like this.
  • Reply 5 of 34
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,667member
    I got my iPhone 4 right after launch and you know what it is still going strong. I did have a problem on my iPad but a trip to the Apple store had the whole machine swapped out in a few moments. The home button might not be as reliable as Apple wants but it is certainly not defective.
  • Reply 6 of 34


    Sounds like they are just upset and not sure how to not be upset anymore.  Glad it was thrown out.

  • Reply 7 of 34
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,629member
    No issues with my 4S + I don't shut it off when flying (airplane mode). Heck I rarely shut it off.
  • Reply 8 of 34
    analogjackanalogjack Posts: 1,061member


    I think the plaintiff themselves pose more harm to the world due to the very real possibility of them breeding. A truly frightening scenario.


  • Reply 9 of 34
    kevtkevt Posts: 195member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Mechanic View Post



    What a stupid lawsuit. My Daughter owns my iPhone 4 that is now 4 years old, and the power button is still going strong, and my iPhone 4S now 2 years old has no issues either.


     


    I'd keep hold of that 4 year old  iPhone 4.  Such early prototypes are hugely valuable.

  • Reply 10 of 34
    mikhailt wrote: »
    We need to change the laws to force folks to pay the defendant's lawyer and any filing fees for all lawsuits. They'll change their minds about filing stupid suits like this.

    I agree. But I don't think many politicians have the guts to bring this up, since it looks like it is designed to prevent or deny the poor the ability to sue
  • Reply 11 of 34
    This is stupidity, we have 3 1/2 year old and it is better than any galaxy(by the way it looks retarded and a battery hog)
  • Reply 12 of 34
    cash907cash907 Posts: 893member


    As someone who had to replace two iPhone 4's for this very flaw, I can attest to it's existence. That said, at worst it was annoying and inconvenient, and attempting to label it as hazardous for the reasons they describe is ridiculous. That was just some ambulance chasing lawyer's attempt at padding the lawsuit to maximize on any potential award.


     


    My own experiences, plus those of the many others who discuss it in the Apple forums, have me convinced that this was in fact a design flaw that Apple was aware of, and it would have been nice to see them own up to it instead of attempt to blame me for "dropping the phone" both times the power button failed on me.

  • Reply 13 of 34
    cash907cash907 Posts: 893member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Curtis Hannah View Post



    This is stupidity, we have 3 1/2 year old and it is better than any galaxy(by the way it looks retarded and a battery hog)


     


    What does anything about this story have to do with any other phone?

  • Reply 14 of 34
    msuberlymsuberly Posts: 226member
    kevt wrote: »
    I'd keep hold of that 4 year old  iPhone 4.  Such early prototypes are hugely valuable.
    Yep, a year before it came out.
  • Reply 15 of 34
    cash907 wrote: »
    As someone who had to replace two iPhone 4's for this very flaw, I can attest to it's existence. That said, at worst it was annoying and inconvenient, and attempting to label it as hazardous for the reasons they describe is ridiculous. That was just some ambulance chasing lawyer's attempt at padding the lawsuit to maximize on any potential award.

    My own experiences, plus those of the many others who discuss it in the Apple forums, have me convinced that this was in fact a design flaw that Apple was aware of, and it would have been nice to see them own up to it instead of attempt to blame me for "dropping the phone" both times the power button failed on me.
    I agree.
    May I add there are other faults on iPhones that are conveniently swept under the carpet by many on this site.
    Sites like AI should be impartial and report these as they can be dangerous to users.
  • Reply 16 of 34
    wovelwovel Posts: 956member
    cash907 wrote: »
    As someone who had to replace two iPhone 4's for this very flaw, I can attest to it's existence. That said, at worst it was annoying and inconvenient, and attempting to label it as hazardous for the reasons they describe is ridiculous. That was just some ambulance chasing lawyer's attempt at padding the lawsuit to maximize on any potential award.

    My own experiences, plus those of the many others who discuss it in the Apple forums, have me convinced that this was in fact a design flaw that Apple was aware of, and it would have been nice to see them own up to it instead of attempt to blame me for "dropping the phone" both times the power button failed on me.
    I agree.
    May I add there are other faults on iPhones that are conveniently swept under the carpet by many on this site.
    Sites like AI should be impartial and report these as they can be dangerous to users.

    Maybe if people did not make ridiculous claims like "dangerous to users" people would be more open to discussing every tiny little issue that comes out.
  • Reply 17 of 34
    muppetrymuppetry Posts: 3,328member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by androidforme View Post




    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Cash907 View Post



    As someone who had to replace two iPhone 4's for this very flaw, I can attest to it's existence. That said, at worst it was annoying and inconvenient, and attempting to label it as hazardous for the reasons they describe is ridiculous. That was just some ambulance chasing lawyer's attempt at padding the lawsuit to maximize on any potential award.



    My own experiences, plus those of the many others who discuss it in the Apple forums, have me convinced that this was in fact a design flaw that Apple was aware of, and it would have been nice to see them own up to it instead of attempt to blame me for "dropping the phone" both times the power button failed on me.


    I agree.

    May I add there are other faults on iPhones that are conveniently swept under the carpet by many on this site.

    Sites like AI should be impartial and report these as they can be dangerous to users.


     


    It would be negligent of you not to share some of these "dangers" with us ignorant Apple users. We might hurt ourselves.

  • Reply 18 of 34
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,198member
    I love the airplane bit given all the suits to nix that law on the grounds that there is no proof of a hazard under scientific testing etc
  • Reply 19 of 34
    The judge should also have added the death penalty to the plaintiff's lawyers.
  • Reply 20 of 34

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by MikhailT View Post



    We need to change the laws to force folks to pay the defendant's lawyer and any filing fees for all lawsuits. They'll change their minds about filing stupid suits like this.


     


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by starbird73 View Post





    I agree. But I don't think many politicians have the guts to bring this up, since it looks like it is designed to prevent or deny the poor the ability to sue


     


    It is not about politicians having guts.


     


    Making the plaintiff pay the defendants legal fees when the plaintiff loses a lawsuit will not happen in the U.S.


     


    The reason is because Lawyers stand to lose a huge amount of money if such a law was enacted in the U.S.


     


    Lawyers make up the most powerful special interest group in the U.S. by far.  And many politicians also happen to be lawyers.  


     


    They will oppose any change to the law since it directly reduces their income.

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