A Wisconsin resident and her home insurance provider State Farm have joined to sued Apple for $75,000, claiming a defective iPhone 4s started a house fire in the resident’s home last year.
Xai Thao and State Farm claim the fire that damaged her home was caused as the direct result of the iPhone’s batter short-circuiting and overheating. The suit claims the device’s original battery was still installed.
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 claims Apple’s design, manufacturing, and sale of the device created a “dangerous, unsafe, and defective” condition.
While improperly designed and installed lithium-ion batteries – such as the one that powers the iPhone – can potentially short-circuit and catch fire, (as we’re well aware from last year’s Samsung Galaxy Note 7 fiasco), the iPhone 4s, which debuted in 2011, hasn’t shown the same tendency to overheat.
Neither side’s lawyers respond to a request for comment about the case. A State Farm spokesman gave CNet the standard boilerplate reply: “State Farm rarely comments on pending litigation and in this case has nothing to share. Our filings speak for themselves.”