Man sues Apple for iPhone 6 battery explosion caused by alleged defect

Posted:
in iPhone
A Texas man is seeking a class action suit against Apple for allegedly selling defective batteries and violating its warranty promises after his iPhone exploded in his face in 2019.

Credit: Apple
Credit: Apple


The lawsuit, lodged Thursday in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, claims that the iPhone 6's battery "contains a defect which makes it unable to reliably perform its function." It goes on to allege that the defect "creates a danger of explosion and fire."

According to the complaint, plaintiff Robert Franklin of Hopkins County, Texas had his iPhone 6 device explode in August 2019. "Robert Franklin was listening to music on his iPhone 6, when he noticed the music playing on his iPhone began to skip," the lawsuit reads. "As he picked up his iPhone to investigate, [it] suddenly exploded and caught fire in his face."

The complaint goes on to say that the plaintiff suffered injuries to his eyes and wrist as a result of the incident. The latter injury occurred because the fire caused him to fall, during which Franklin used his hand to brace himself.

"With a defective battery, Plaintiff's iPhone 6 was unsafe to operate and was destroyed by the explosion," the complaint says.

The plaintiff reportedly suffered economic loss because of the incident. Costs included those to replace the iPhone, plus medical treatment for his injuries.

According to the lawsuit, Apple is in violation of Texas law because it sold a un-merchantable product. It alleges that Apple's warranty, which claims that the iPhone 6 would be free from defects, turned out to be untrue.

Exploding iPhones are rare, and normally occur because of user-caused damage to a device after it has been sold. There is no rash of exploding iPhone batteries now, or in 2019, when the plaintiff's battery burst. Lithium-ion battery liquid is flammable, and damage to a device containing a battery can cause the battery to swell, rupture, or otherwise fail.

The iPhone 6 was first sold in 2015, and the plaintiff reportedly purchased his in 2018 -- about a year before the incident occurred. It isn't clear what condition the phone was in prior to the explosion, where he bought the device, or if he bought it new or used.

The lawsuit seeks class action status and a jury trial. It asks for damages for the allegedly defective iPhone 6 and its battery, incidental damages for replacement devices, and attorneys' fees and court costs.

Franklin v Apple by Mikey Campbell

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 19
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,832member
    Was it plugged in? If so, was he using a reputable adapter? So many questions. 
    pulseimagesraybokillroywatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 19
    Fidonet127Fidonet127 Posts: 254member
    He bought the iPhone 6 in 2018? Probably not new or referb. Considering how rare battery explosions are rare, I don’t see class action. 
    pulseimagesrayboradarthekatkillroyllamawatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 19
    genovellegenovelle Posts: 1,221member
    Probably would have happened if Apple had not taken heat for extending the life of batteries by throttling to detect conditions that causes spiking in old failing batteries. Cant win for loosing. 
    killroywatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 19
    mike1mike1 Posts: 2,672member
    I would really be curious to see evidence of an "explosion" rather than some other random battery problem.

    explode
    [ikˈsplōd]
    VERB
    burst or shatter violently and noisily as a result of rapid combustion, decomposition, excessive internal pressure, or other process, typically scattering fragments widely.
    "a large bomb exploded in a park" · [more]
    synonyms:
    blow up · detonate · blow · burst (apart) · fly apart · fly into pieces · shatter ·

    radarthekatkillroy
  • Reply 5 of 19
    earthkidearthkid Posts: 23member
    Feel bad for Apple, everybody just like to sue Apple for every little thing. But when the same thing happened to other company they don’t get sued like Apple does for some reason. Battery explosion is hard to come bye, if that is the case, they will have to do some investigation like what lead to it.
    KTRkillroyviclauyycwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 19
    hammeroftruthhammeroftruth Posts: 1,046member
    Is it the original battery, or was it replaced by Apple? A lot of pieces are missing from this puzzle. 

    My money is on either it’s a third party battery or the device was replaced by his carrier at some point and contained a 3rd party battery before he got it. 
    pulseimageskillroyllamawatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 19
    KuyangkohKuyangkoh Posts: 679member
    DISMISSED 
    rayboradarthekatkillroywatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 19
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 3,134member
    Class action -  because there have been millions of iPhone 6 explosions?
    radarthekatkillroywatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 19
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 1,613member
    Kuyangkoh said:
    DISMISSED 
    Anywhere else yes. But this is Eastern Texas so I'd expect an even chance of it going ahead, being granted Class Action status, and then him winning. 
    edited May 6 viclauyyc
  • Reply 10 of 19
    montyburnsmontyburns Posts: 31member
    Seriously.. Apple should just stop selling products in Texas.. FK their judicial system..
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 19
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,354moderator
     According to the lawsuit, Apple is in violation of Texas law because it sold a un-merchantable product. It alleges that Apple's warranty, which claims that the iPhone 6 would be free from defects, turned out to be untrue.”

    Warranties don’t ONLY provide claims of freedom from defects, merchantability and so forth.  They also spell out specific conditions of warrantability and specific remedies in the event the product fails to meet the warranty.  So arguing that a product was not free from defects under its warranty will win you only a remedy spelled out by the warranty.  That’s simply the wrong argument to make on this case.  

    What he needs to successfully argue is that Apple is somehow negligently liable for his injuries.  It’s a higher standard than mere neglect to meet warranty claims.  
    edited May 7 killroyviclauyycwatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 19
    EsquireCatsEsquireCats Posts: 1,167member
    This comes about just as the user-repair debate heats up. One might be inclined to think that a several year old iphone’s battery exploding might just have something to do with how the phone was treated after purchase. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 19
    mike1mike1 Posts: 2,672member
    Seriously.. Apple should just stop selling products in Texas.. FK their judicial system..

    It is a Federal court that is based in Texas.
    killroywatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 19
    killroykillroy Posts: 122member
    Where's the so called phone that went kaboom. Just saying it was defective don't make it so.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 19
    damankasdamankas Posts: 4member
    If a person buys a device from anyone other than Apple or a legitimate retailer (and even further isn’t brand new out of the box) you must know you run certain risks.  Firstly, one cannot guarantee third-party used devices have not been modified. Secondly anywhere other than an Apple retail store replacement, such as some third-party warranty company swaps or refurbs like Assurion you basically sign up for garbage and illegitimate parts with water damage and lack of proper grounding within the device enclosure. 
    Almost certainly this case will be dismissed once they take the phone apart and find that this battery or other internal components were modified and do not match with Apple specific components, likely done so by this unfortunate  plaintiff’s seller. 
    viclauyycwatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 19
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,275member
    earthkid said:
    Feel bad for Apple, everybody just like to sue Apple for every little thing. But when the same thing happened to other company they don’t get sued like Apple does for some reason. Battery explosion is hard to come bye, if that is the case, they will have to do some investigation like what lead to it.
    That’s how the world works. If you produce wealth there’s always someone who will try to take it away from you, whether you are Apple or a small entrepreneur. The world is full of parasites feeding on those who produce.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 19
    Mr. Phelps always had this problem with electronics.
    killroywatto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 19
    coolfactorcoolfactor Posts: 1,814member

    "A Texas man" .... enough read!  :D

    So out of millions of iPhone 6's sold, one may have a defective battery, and therefore ALL of them are defective? Yah, okay...


    viclauyyckillroywatto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 19
    practigalpractigal Posts: 3member
    My iPhone 6s got the free replacement battery and after a year it got so hot charging it burned my leg and never charged again. The batteries for that form-factor phone had a lot of issues and I’m Apple was aware.
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