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

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jul 21, 2017.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    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.
    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.

    Article Link: State Farm Sues Apple For Over $75,000, Claims Defective iPhone Caused House Fire
  2. ckurt25 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 25, 2009
    Grand Rapids, MI
    Maybe I'm missing something... A 5 year old 4S, which was never charged, caught fire...?
  3. Zirel Suspended


    Jul 24, 2015
    Stop trying to make it happen, it’s not going to happen.

    The iPhone 4s has been and gone for a long time and didn’t cause any widepread issues.
  4. xgarfield, Jul 21, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2017

    xgarfield macrumors newbie


    Sep 8, 2015
    In what Apple Store could she have purchased an iPhone 4s in 2016!??!

    They probably got the battery replaced with some eBay "Apple" battery or purchased from a second hand store.

    Apple states that batteries, AS WE ALL KNOW, don't hold charge forever if stored.

    Also what charger where they using? I know EVERYTHING is made in China but these dollar store charges are KNOWN to catch fire.
  5. Joe Rossignol Editor

    Joe Rossignol

    Staff Member

    May 12, 2012
    I think you might have misread never changed as charged.
  6. Sunny1990, Jul 21, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2017

    Sunny1990 Suspended


    Feb 13, 2015
    Apple is not at Fault here. Why the hell where they using a phone with defective battery. Atleast they should have brought the Phone to Apple and have them look at the issue.
  7. kmm1482 macrumors newbie

    May 16, 2012
    Waiting for a follow-up to come out that the phone was “repaired” by one of those knock-off iPhone repair kiosks.
  8. xgarfield macrumors newbie


    Sep 8, 2015
    But in any case where can you buy an iPhone 4s in 2016 in an Apple Store?!? Impossible.

    Also, wouldn't have there been a series of these happening? (for example serial 1-1000 of a batch would be bad)

    Where are ALL the other 4s fires? Next their going to claim a 4s started the California wild fires.

    Probably using a cheap Walgreens "apple" look-a-like charger that are KNOWN to catch fire.
  9. 69Mustang macrumors 603


    Jan 7, 2014
    In between a rock and a hard place
    You're basing this on what? A feeling?

    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.;)
    --- Post Merged, Jul 21, 2017 ---
    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.
  10. Porco, Jul 21, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2017

    Porco macrumors 68030


    Mar 28, 2005
    ?! :confused:

    It doesn't say the phone was purchased in 2016, does it? It says the fire happened in 2016.

    I'm sure it will be thoroughly investigated. If the battery was indeed the cause, I hope the claimant gets some money, house fires are awful (plus if there is a risk of this happening again, Apple and everyone else needs to know). It's sadly natural many will suspect a cash-grab/scam but that's why in some of our countries we fortunately still have something approaching proper due process and evidence-based law suits thank goodness.
  11. McFlyOz macrumors member


    Jul 22, 2015
    Key Largo
    It doesn’t state that the phone was purchased in 2016, only that the fire was caused then. I mean, a 4S is old as mud and this looks isolated but I’m loving all the “How’d they get a 4S in 2016!?!?” posts. I fear for the literacy of many...


    Porco beat me to it!
  12. djcerla macrumors 68000


    Apr 23, 2015
    Nope buddy.
  13. xgarfield macrumors newbie


    Sep 8, 2015
    The battery in a 4S FOR A FACT will expand if it fails. That is the "explosion" that happens. They don't catch fire unless improperly cared for like I previously commented it must have been a fake "apple" cable or fake "apple" wall adaptor.

    Apple tried to help these customers by having a bring in your cheeps and we give you a real charger for a lower cost for a while.
  14. UL2RA Suspended

    May 7, 2017
  15. weckart macrumors 601

    Nov 7, 2004
    Read the article before frothing at the mouth.

    1. Nothing about a purchase in 2016
    2. Nothing about changing a battery. Quite the reverse.
    3. Nothing about a charger causing the fire. The phone battery itself was the source.
  16. Porco, Jul 21, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2017

    Porco macrumors 68030


    Mar 28, 2005
    As you say, nothing widespread. So if it was the iPhone 4s's battery at fault in this case (yet to be proven in court) that would make it an "isolated incident", no? Like the very next sentence after the one you quoted says, right?

    You don't know for sure what happened any more than the rest of us at this point. If the claimant did use a faulty 3rd-party charger/cable/replacement battery then hopefully that will come out in court, but I think it's wrong to just assume this person is lying simply because there isn't a widespread problem known with iPhone 4s batteries. Apple is a huge company, they can take it, they get crazy law suits hurled at them all day, it's not a major personal disaster for them. *If* this person suffered major property damage through no fault of their own and they weren't using a faulty 3rd-party charger/cable/replacement battery then they deserve recompense from Apple.
  17. Pbrutto macrumors 6502a


    Apr 21, 2015
    Eastern PA
    Have any of these lawsuits or allegations against Apple ever been proven to be apple’s fault? Every single one I recall was a gas station charger issue
  18. WWPD macrumors regular


    Aug 21, 2015
    Ten Forward
    Apple finds $75,000 under it's sofa cushions. Here.
  19. potentmf macrumors regular


    Oct 6, 2016
    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.
  20. ronntaylor, Jul 21, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2017

    ronntaylor macrumors regular


    Jan 16, 2004
    Flushing/Queens, New York
    From other sources the phone was bought some time in 2014. It doesn't say where it was purchased (Apple store, retailer). And from a brief scan of the brief, this suit looks rushed and lacks a great deal of information. Did she only use the included charger? Did she ever drop it? Sit down while it was in her back pocket?

    It appears State Farm settled for a maximum of $75K with Thao and wants to recoup that from Apple. Thao is apparently suing for out of pocket expenses beyond the maximum.

    Apple should file a motion to dismiss with all the lacking information. Wouldn't surprise me if a compromise is worked out behind closed doors given the paltry sum.
  21. BurgDog macrumors regular

    Apr 22, 2012
    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.
  22. MrX8503 macrumors 68020

    Sep 19, 2010
    There's no mention if she used a faulty charger? If it really was a faulty phone, then Apple should pay for it.
  23. doelcm82 macrumors 68040


    Feb 11, 2012
    Florida, USA
    Possibly they will settle even if they don't know that the battery caused the fire (the heat from the fire could have caused the battery to explode). As someone else said, this is not a large sum of money for Apple. $75,000 will get you a Slurpee with Tim Cook and no tour of Apple Park. Apple may settle without accepting blame just to make it go away, and throw in the Slurpee for free.
  24. velocityg4 macrumors 601


    Dec 19, 2004
    I don't know how many tens of millions of iPhone 4s were sold. It amazes me that some don't believe at least one of those sold could have a battery defect which would result in a fire.

    While there are many frivolous lawsuits. State Farm is one of the claimants. I find it hard to believe they would get involved. Unless they did some investigation and decided there is some basis to get involved. Rather than just pay out the claim and move on.

    Let them have their time in court. I'm sure Apple will want to test it. If they are responsible. I do wonder if they will settle or fight it out.
  25. 69Mustang macrumors 603


    Jan 7, 2014
    In between a rock and a hard place
    If it makes it to trial, discovery will be used to answer the questions you asked? State Farm just want's to mitigate it's payout. If Apple settles for any amount above State Farm's legal cost State Farm will consider it a win.

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