State Farm Sues Apple For Over $75,000, Claims Defective iPhone Caused House Fire

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Wisconsin resident Xai Thao and her home insurance provider State Farm have jointly sued Apple for over $75,000 this week, claiming the company sold Thao a defective and dangerous iPhone 4s that started a fire in her home last year.


The lawsuit, filed in U.S. district court, alleges the house fire was the direct result of the iPhone's battery short-circuiting and heating up. Thao nor anyone else ever changed the battery in the iPhone, according to the complaint.

On or about April 1, 2016, the iPhone failed, starting a fire in Thao's home. Preliminary investigations show evidence of a significant and localized heating event in the battery area of the iPhone as well as remnants of internal shorting, indicating that an internal failure of the iPhone's battery caused the fire.

The complaint reiterates that the design, manufacture, and sale of the iPhone 4s created a "dangerous, unsafe, and defective" condition.

If designed improperly, lithium-ion batteries do have the potential of short-circuiting and catching fire, as Samsung learned the hard way with its recalled Galaxy Note7 last year. But, that hasn't been a widespread issue with the iPhone 4s since it launched in 2011, so this is certainly an isolated incident.

Thao and State Farm are seeking at least $75,000 in damages from Apple, but the exact amount is to be determined if and when the case is heard.

Tag: lawsuit

Top Rated Comments

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42 months ago

Maybe I'm missing something... A 5 year old 4S, which was never charged, caught fire...?

I think you might have misread never changed as charged.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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42 months ago
LOL at people so quick to defend Apple as if it's not possible the battery is faulty. Apple has lawyers on payroll for that, don't need ya'll to do it for free.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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42 months ago

Apple is not at Fault here.

You're basing this on what? A feeling?

Why the hell were they using a phone with defective battery.

Take a look at the question you're asking. Can you spot the problem?

On topic: We are a seriously litigious society. 10-1 if the plaintiff won, State Farm would take 60% of the payout, lawyers another 30%, and Thou would get 10%. State Farm would then raise her rates.;)
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But in any case where can you buy an iPhone 4s in 2016 in an Apple Store?!? Impossible.

Where did you see she bought a 4S in 2016? Also, why do you keep specifying Apple Store? The vast majority of iPhones aren't purchased in an Apple Store.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
42 months ago
State Farm has already paid the claim and is going after Apple as is normal for insurance companies who think they have a chance at finding liability for the damage from some other place. If the battery did cause the fire and the owner was not responsible, Apple will likely quickly settle with State Farm and that will be the end of it.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
42 months ago
Waiting for a follow-up to come out that the phone was “repaired” by one of those knock-off iPhone repair kiosks.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
42 months ago

On topic: We are a seriously litigious society. 10-1 if the plaintiff won, State Farm would take 60% of the payout, lawyers another 30%, and Thou would get 10%. State Farm would then raise her rates.;)

Statefarm would get 100%. They paid out the claim to their customer, now their lawyers (internal staff) are suing Apple to get money back. That is how insurance works in these cases.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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