Apple Watch design & battery are inherently unsafe, claims lawsuit

Posted:
in Apple Watch edited December 2021
Apple has been hit with a lawsuit claiming that every Apple Watch model ever made has an "unsafe defect" -- specifically, the fact that the device doesn't have the internal space to accommodate a swollen battery.

Lawsuit takes aim at Apple Watch design
Lawsuit takes aim at Apple Watch design


The class action complaint, lodged Thursday in a federal court in California, claims that the Apple Watch has an "undisclosed and unreasonably dangerous safety hazard." The lawsuit names every model produced, from the original Apple Watch to the Apple Watch Series 6.

More specifically, the lawsuit calls out the fact that the Apple Watch allegedly lacks any "thermal or other solution to prevent and/or mitigate the danger of a detached, shattered, or cracked Watch screen resulting from the insufficient space allocated within the device for the rectangular shaped, electromagnetically charged lithium cobalt oxide battery."

The lawsuit claims that the lack of space can cause problems if the battery suddenly swells. Such a scenario could place upward pressure on the screen, causing it to detach from the Apple Watch, shatter, or crack -- "exposing its razor-sharp edges" to users.

In other words, the manufacturing defect is not the fact that lithium ion batteries could swell. Instead, the lawsuit takes issue with the fact that there isn't sufficient space within the device, or some other mitigation mechanism, to protect against swelling batteries. One example it gives is a "protective guard to keep [the battery] from contacting the screen face."

"The detached, shattered, or cracked screens are a material and unreasonably dangerous safety hazard," the complaint reads.

More than that, the lawsuit claims that Apple knowingly produced Apple Watch models with this safety detect. It adds that the company denies the existence of it.

The lawsuit names a handful of plaintiffs that had issues with battery swelling on their Apple Watch models. It seeks class action status.

The complaint, which demands a jury trial, seeks damages for the plaintiffs and class members, as well as disclosure of the "defective nature of the Watch," among other prayers for relief.

It's not clear how the case will work around more than two decades of precedent involving batteries, and how they swell inside a mobile device enclosure when operating outside normal parameters when damaged or chemically depleted. Similar cases have been filed regarding iPhone batteries in the past, and none have ended in the filer's favor.

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 14
    Another day, another troll suing Apple. At least it's not in Tex-ass where the trolls often (always?) win. 
    ronnMplsPjony0
  • Reply 2 of 14
    maltzmaltz Posts: 334member
    So the suit boils down to the fact that the screen is made of glass, and broken glass is sharp?  Good luck with that...
    ronnmike1
  • Reply 3 of 14
    This is the most stupid thing I have ever heard!
  • Reply 4 of 14
    maltz said:
    So the suit boils down to the fact that the screen is made of glass, and broken glass is sharp?  Good luck with that...

    No, that's not what it boils down to at all.

    It boils down to the design of the watch not allowing for an expanded battery (which can be anticipated to happen with a certain percentage of batteries of the type used in the Apple Watch) and therefore the battery is breaking the glass and creating a potentially hazardous condition.

    I suspect they'll have a hard time if they can't prove actual damages, meaning if the glass didn't cut somebody there isn't an injury.

    It absolutely IS a defective design.  If the battery expansion (which, again, can be anticipated) causes damage to the device, it's a problem.  And it's a problem that's affected every portable Apple product for years.  Apple really should have to pay for any damages caused by battery swelling when they designed the product in such a way that a swollen battery can damage other hardware.  There's an easy fix Apple could have implemented - batteries that are easily changeable by the user could implement a locking catch system that would automatically unlock and release if a battery swells enough that it could cause damage.  There's no reason for Apple not to do that other than their idiotic thin fetish.
    williamlondonbeowulfschmidt
  • Reply 5 of 14
    darkvader said:

    It absolutely IS a defective design.
    When you launch your website "I hate all things Apple, just because" let everyone here know so they can dump AI and join you there.
    jony0
  • Reply 6 of 14
    Exactly how many times has this actually happened? 


  • Reply 7 of 14
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 3,647member
    darkvader said:
    maltz said:
    So the suit boils down to the fact that the screen is made of glass, and broken glass is sharp?  Good luck with that...

    It absolutely IS a defective design.  If the battery expansion (which, again, can be anticipated) causes damage to the device, it's a problem.  And it's a problem that's affected every portable Apple product for years.  Apple really should have to pay for any damages caused by battery swelling when they designed the product in such a way that a swollen battery can damage other hardware.  There's an easy fix Apple could have implemented - batteries that are easily changeable by the user could implement a locking catch system that would automatically unlock and release if a battery swells enough that it could cause damage.  There's no reason for Apple not to do that other than their idiotic thin fetish.
    they can also anticipate a certain number of people cracking their screens. As they can anticipate a certain number of iPhone batteries swelling and cracking screens. If the screen is cracked, don't use it. If you're too stupid to figure that out then it's time for Darwin to kick in.
    jony0
  • Reply 8 of 14
    mattinozmattinoz Posts: 1,851member
    darkvader said:
    maltz said:
    So the suit boils down to the fact that the screen is made of glass, and broken glass is sharp?  Good luck with that...

    No, that's not what it boils down to at all.

    It boils down to the design of the watch not allowing for an expanded battery (which can be anticipated to happen with a certain percentage of batteries of the type used in the Apple Watch) and therefore the battery is breaking the glass and creating a potentially hazardous condition.

    I suspect they'll have a hard time if they can't prove actual damages, meaning if the glass didn't cut somebody there isn't an injury.

    It absolutely IS a defective design.  If the battery expansion (which, again, can be anticipated) causes damage to the device, it's a problem.  And it's a problem that's affected every portable Apple product for years.  Apple really should have to pay for any damages caused by battery swelling when they designed the product in such a way that a swollen battery can damage other hardware.  There's an easy fix Apple could have implemented - batteries that are easily changeable by the user could implement a locking catch system that would automatically unlock and release if a battery swells enough that it could cause damage.  There's no reason for Apple not to do that other than their idiotic thin fetish.
    Given the screen and glass are bonded does the glass really break and become dangerous if the battery swells?

    The screen module is held in with a sticky gasket and the battery to one end so if it did swell it would seem like it would put more pressure on one part of gasket. Seems like the whole screen would tear off the gasket before the screen would shatter. Even then the screen is captured by cables going under the battery and haptic motor so wouldn't fall off and smash. 
    FileMakerFellerjimdreamworx
  • Reply 9 of 14
    mattinoz said:
    darkvader said:
    maltz said:
    So the suit boils down to the fact that the screen is made of glass, and broken glass is sharp?  Good luck with that...

    No, that's not what it boils down to at all.

    It boils down to the design of the watch not allowing for an expanded battery (which can be anticipated to happen with a certain percentage of batteries of the type used in the Apple Watch) and therefore the battery is breaking the glass and creating a potentially hazardous condition.

    I suspect they'll have a hard time if they can't prove actual damages, meaning if the glass didn't cut somebody there isn't an injury.

    It absolutely IS a defective design.  If the battery expansion (which, again, can be anticipated) causes damage to the device, it's a problem.  And it's a problem that's affected every portable Apple product for years.  Apple really should have to pay for any damages caused by battery swelling when they designed the product in such a way that a swollen battery can damage other hardware.  There's an easy fix Apple could have implemented - batteries that are easily changeable by the user could implement a locking catch system that would automatically unlock and release if a battery swells enough that it could cause damage.  There's no reason for Apple not to do that other than their idiotic thin fetish.
    Given the screen and glass are bonded does the glass really break and become dangerous if the battery swells?

    The screen module is held in with a sticky gasket and the battery to one end so if it did swell it would seem like it would put more pressure on one part of gasket. Seems like the whole screen would tear off the gasket before the screen would shatter. Even then the screen is captured by cables going under the battery and haptic motor so wouldn't fall off and smash. 
    Have experienced on both an iPhone and Apple Watch swollen batteries. Neither of them did anything but dislodge the screen from its setting. No screen breakage or cracks, and nothing shattered.

    This is a Chicken Little pander to the "I hate Apple" trolls and make the lawyers rich at the same time fecal lawsuit ("throw it against the wall and hope for 'stickage'"). One only has to look who on this forum supports it, and that will tell you everything you need to know about how idiotic it is.
    mattinozjimdreamworx
  • Reply 10 of 14
    So I guess I shouldn’t wear my watch in the microwave?? /s
  • Reply 11 of 14
    darkvader said:
    maltz said:
    So the suit boils down to the fact that the screen is made of glass, and broken glass is sharp?  Good luck with that...


    It absolutely IS a defective design.  
    So 7 generations in and we still think it is a defective design? How many million watches sold? How many swollen batteries? 

    williamlondon
  • Reply 12 of 14
    So 7 generations in and we still think it is a defective design? How many million watches sold? How many swollen batteries? 

    The shyster lawyers will just say... Even the remote possibility of one screen breaking is why my clients need a billion dollars in damages. (or words like that)

    I hope the shysters get slapped down hard for this. If they win then literally anything made of glass will become an expensive liability.  Glass can break. Humans have known that for millennia but now we get the lawsuits.
    IANAL etc etc etc

    williamlondon
  • Reply 13 of 14
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,918member
    Lawyers. Ugh. 
  • Reply 14 of 14
    So 7 generations in and we still think it is a defective design? How many million watches sold? How many swollen batteries? 

    The shyster lawyers will just say... Even the remote possibility of one screen breaking is why my clients need a billion dollars in damages. (or words like that)

    I hope the shysters get slapped down hard for this. If they win then literally anything made of glass will become an expensive liability.  Glass can break. Humans have known that for millennia but now we get the lawsuits.
    IANAL etc etc etc

    This is from the "If it saves just one life, it's worth doing!" crowd that always manages to rain on the parades of innovation out there.  I get that people want to reduce risks, but to use the courts like this to "send a message" to companies like Apple is not doing anyone any favors, other than making product liability more expensive - a cost that is eventually passed down to the consumer.  Along with dozens of warning labels that people start ignoring, due to the sheer volume.  Ever read an entire car manual?
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