Apple sued over 2016 leg injury caused by alleged MacBook battery issue

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware
A lawsuit has been filed against Apple accusing it of selling a faulty MacBook and charger, one which allegedly overheated and caused permanent burn marks to her leg in 2016, with the filing occurring on the third anniversary of the supposed incident.

MacBook Pro


A filing to the New York Supreme Court on May 31 on behalf of Yoland Oyiya claims the New Jersey resident was the victim of burn marks caused by her MacBook. It is alleged in the twelve-page filing the plaintiff sustained "serious and permanent personal injuries, including but not limited to a skin burn on her left leg," caused by the notebook and its charger.

The suit offers multiple causes for action against Apple, with claims the MacBook was sold in a defective condition, created an "unreasonable risk of harm" to consumers, knew it was defective in testing and failed to adequately provide warnings, and that the failure to warn of hazardous parts is a "design defect" and a cause of the injury. It is also stressed throughout the filing that Oyiya "exercised due care" through her use of the MacBook.

The suit asks for judgment against Apple for an unspecified amount, but one that "exceeds the monetary jurisdictional limits of all lower New York State Courts," as well as demands for further relief "as the court may deem just and proper," as well as costs and disbursements.

The timing of the filing is apt, as it marks three years since the supposed incident took place, on May 31, 2016. The date of the filing is also a few days before Apple issued a recall of some 2015 15-inch MacBook Pro models, due to potential battery issues where units could overheat.

It is likely the filing was made on that date due to the statute of limitations for product liability being three years in New York. The rules vary from state to state, such as the period staring from when injuries are discovered, but New York's version starts the clock from the time of the incident itself.

At no point in the filing is there a reference to what specific model of MacBook it was, except it was a "laptop computer and battery charging apparatus" produced by Apple. While it is plausible that the notebook in question was that model, given when the event allegedly took place, it may require a further court filing to reveal specifically which MacBook is involved.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 17
    Why did she wait so long?

    There’s obviously a battery problem with that model, but when the incident occurred Apple didn’t know that.

    I’d like more details... Did Apple pay for her medical bills and offer her compensation.  Did she agree then change her mind?

    My bet is Apple paid her something already.  Did the agreement/payment include not talking about it, or sue?

    My bet is she was approached by a ambulance chasing lawyer, who convinced her she could get more.

    It didn’t take years before the severity of the injury to come to light...
    virtualshiftwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 17
    Why did she wait so long?

    There’s obviously a battery problem with that model, but when the incident occurred Apple didn’t know that.

    I’d like more details... Did Apple pay for her medical bills and offer her compensation.  Did she agree then change her mind?

    My bet is Apple paid her something already.  Did the agreement/payment include not talking about it, or sue?

    My bet is she was approached by a ambulance chasing lawyer, who convinced her she could get more.

    It didn’t take years before the severity of the injury to come to light...
    Ha ha.  You had a conversation with yourself by yourself.  :D  Your quote is a perfect example of "asked and answered" 
    bloodshotrollin'red
  • Reply 3 of 17
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 5,007administrator
    Why did she wait so long?

    There’s obviously a battery problem with that model, but when the incident occurred Apple didn’t know that.

    I’d like more details... Did Apple pay for her medical bills and offer her compensation.  Did she agree then change her mind?

    My bet is Apple paid her something already.  Did the agreement/payment include not talking about it, or sue?

    My bet is she was approached by a ambulance chasing lawyer, who convinced her she could get more.

    It didn’t take years before the severity of the injury to come to light...
    FTA: "At no point in the filing is there a reference to what specific model of MacBook it was, except it was a "laptop computer and battery charging apparatus" produced by Apple. While it is plausible that the notebook in question was that model, given when the event allegedly took place, it may require a further court filing to reveal specifically which MacBook is involved."
    seanismorrisfastasleep
  • Reply 4 of 17
    mac_dogmac_dog Posts: 706member
    How hot does something resting on your body need to get before you act? 
    JFC_PAalphafoxwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 17
    Why did she wait so long?

    There’s obviously a battery problem with that model, but when the incident occurred Apple didn’t know that.

    I’d like more details... Did Apple pay for her medical bills and offer her compensation.  Did she agree then change her mind?

    My bet is Apple paid her something already.  Did the agreement/payment include not talking about it, or sue?

    My bet is she was approached by a ambulance chasing lawyer, who convinced her she could get more.

    It didn’t take years before the severity of the injury to come to light...
    Ha ha.  You had a conversation with yourself by yourself.  :D  Your quote is a perfect example of "asked and answered" 
    I often have conversations with myself ; )

    In this case, it was “Why did she wait?”  I’m not sure I answered my own question to my satisfaction though... there’s no enough information to draw conclusions.  

    That doesn’t stop me from making a WAG (wild ass guess) though...
    CloudTalkinentropyswatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 17
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 2,028member
    The suit offers multiple causes for action against Apple, with claims the MacBook was sold in a defective condition, created an "unreasonable risk of harm" to consumers, knew it was defective in testing and failed to adequately provide warnings, and that the failure to warn of hazardous parts is a "design defect" and a cause of the injury. It is also stressed throughout the filing that Oyiya "exercised due care" through her use of the MacBook.

    None of that will hold up in court.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 17
    entropysentropys Posts: 1,897member
    mjtomlin said:
    The suit offers multiple causes for action against Apple, with claims the MacBook was sold in a defective condition, created an "unreasonable risk of harm" to consumers, knew it was defective in testing and failed to adequately provide warnings, and that the failure to warn of hazardous parts is a "design defect" and a cause of the injury. It is also stressed throughout the filing that Oyiya "exercised due care" through her use of the MacBook.

    None of that will hold up in court.
    Is court the goal? Or a settlement?
  • Reply 8 of 17
    macguimacgui Posts: 1,527member
    CloudTalkin said:
    Your quote is a perfect example of "asked and answered" 
    Actually, it's not.

    entropys said:
    Is court the goal? Or a settlement?
    Exactamundo. The plaintiff would have to know they have a terrific case that would near guarantee a big payday. Otherwise it's just hope Apple won't want to waste their time with a lawsuit and make it 'go away'.


    mac_dog said:
    How hot does something resting on your body need to get before you act? 
    An exothermic reaction from an Li battery can get very hot very quick. Along with the fact that it takes time for the pain to be transmitted from the burn to the brain. It doesn't surprise me at all that she could have sustained serious tiissue damage before even realizing she's being burned.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 17
    jdwjdw Posts: 804member
    I own a mid-2015 15" MBP purchased in the summer of 2016.  It's a the highest end model with top CPU, dGPU, maxed out RAM and 1TB internal SSD.  This month, exactly 1 month after my AppleCare expired, I decided to open the bottom case due to all the news about the 2015 MBP battery recall.  Even though my battery reported only 183 charge cycles and 92% health, I was shocked to find it noticeably swollen and pressing against the bottom case.  My case wasn't bent, and thankfully it never caught fire, but I quickly called Apple and they arranged for me to pay $200 for the replacement.  That's because my SN didn't qualify me for a free replacement under the battery recall.  I actually wrote an email to Tim Cook after that, not to complain about my having to pay, but to suggest that Apple seriously consider there are other 2015 models not currently covered in their recall program that have potentially defective batteries.  

    When I called Apple I explained I use my MBP at home plugged in most of the time, and the Apple rep said that shouldn't cause this type of problem.  I was told it is an inherent defect in the battery itself.  

    Because of this, I strongly recommend that all of you who own a 2015 MBP buy the tool necessary to open the bottom case and check your battery right away.  That's the only way to know if you have a bad apple or not.
    jcs2305muthuk_vanalingamwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 17
    mac_dog said:
    How hot does something resting on your body need to get before you act? 
    If it had a pulse I'd react instantly.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 17

    mac_dog said:
    How hot does something resting on your body need to get before you act? 
    An exothermic reaction from an Li battery can get very hot very quick. Along with the fact that it takes time for the pain to be transmitted from the burn to the brain. It doesn't surprise me at all that she could have sustained serious tiissue damage before even realizing she's being burned.
    Low, moderate or high levels of recreational stupefacient chemicals can make matters worse...much more worse.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 17
    ...
    That's the only way to know if you have a bad apple or not.
    ...surely not, Jdw. What's so difficult about biting an apple to check its quality?
    muthuk_vanalingamwatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 17
    jdwjdw Posts: 804member
    ...
    That's the only way to know if you have a bad apple or not.
    ...surely not, Jdw. What's so difficult about biting an apple to check its quality?
    Biting a bloated battery will give you an explosive amount of indigestion.  And that is precisely why I paid Apple to perform the replacement rather than do the DIY iFixIt route.  The battery is very securely taped, so it would need to be pried out, and that leaves the door open to accidental punctures which would ignite the battery into a great ball of fire.  Even Jerry Lee Lewis wouldn't be a fan of that.

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 17
    jdwjdw Posts: 804member
    By the way, folks, Apple also changed the entire top case when they replaced my battery, and they did that at no extra charge.  As you know, the top case includes the keyboard too, so my keyboard is now pristine.  The keyboard and top case were in extremely good condition before the change, so it didn't make a huge difference.  And I don't know if they is why I wasn't charged for the top case change, or if it's a matter of policy for battery changes when the battery is swollen.  I just wanted to pass this information along.

    By the way, Battery Health 2 ver.1.3 reports the following info on my replacement battery:

    Health: 105%
    Current Max: 9173mAh
    Original Max: 8755mAh
    Cycles: 1
    Age: 2.4 months
    Manufactured: June 11, 2019
    edited August 23
  • Reply 15 of 17
    jdwjdw Posts: 804member
    Supplementing my previous posts, I'd like to add that I just uploaded a YouTube video that addresses the topic.  Bottom Line: you need to visually inspect your battery.  Don't rely on battery health and cycle count data!


  • Reply 16 of 17
    Did anyone find the lawfirm? Or lawyer in this case? I have an injury on my fingers and hands due to the electric current given off by my macbook air. The macbook is still being investigated after the first fix. But I cannot do any computer work without pain. Current lawyer is not very good. Could not find the lawfirm for this case or any other.

    Does anyone know?
  • Reply 17 of 17
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 5,007administrator
    Did anyone find the lawfirm? Or lawyer in this case? I have an injury on my fingers and hands due to the electric current given off by my macbook air. The macbook is still being investigated after the first fix. But I cannot do any computer work without pain. Current lawyer is not very good. Could not find the lawfirm for this case or any other.

    Does anyone know?
    The embedded lawsuit documentation has the information you want.
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