Lawsuits have been filed against Apple seeking damages after two of its devices overheated – one, an iphone that exploded inside a Melbourne man‘s pocket and the other, a smart watch that left a man with burns.
Personal injury law firm Carbone Lawyers filed the lawsuits this month in the Victorian County Court with Apple confirming they were investigating the allegations.
According to a statement of claim an Apple iPhone X 64GB purchased in March 2018 exploded inside the right pocket of Robert De Rose’s pants when he was seated inside his office in April 2019.
The 58-year-old also experienced “psychiatric injury” and he would be seeking damages from the tech giant, the document says.
Carbone Lawyers managing partner Tony Carbone said the Endeavour Hills man was left with a 25cm scar after suffering severe second-degree burns and it took more than six weeks for the wound to improve.
“The client heard a pop sound and then a fizz, then a burning sensation on his leg and when he immediately took the phone out of his pocket he saw black smoke coming out of the corners,” he said.
“You do hear stories about devices overheating when they’re overcharged or when they’re being overused, but the scary thing about this case is the client’s phone wasn’t even being used when it exploded.
“He wants to ensure this sort of incident doesn’t occur again – what happened to him wasn’t nice, it was very nasty but the reality is as bad as it was it could’ve been a lot worse.
“He gave the example of driving a car and in all probability an incident like this in a vehicle could have resulted in a nasty car accident and then you’re talking about loss of life.”
In the second case, Airport West man David Borg claimed in court documents his Apple Watch N+ S3 “burned his skin on his left wrist” after it overheated.
The 31-year-old also suffered burns and psychiatric injury as a result, the documents state.
Mr Borg purchased the device from Apple‘s store at Highpoint in Maribyrnong in August 2018, before the incident in September last year.
Both statements of claim alleged the two devices had a “safety defect” according to Australian Consumer Law.
Mr Carbone said both clients were seeking compensation for their medical treatment and any loss of income associated with their injuries.
“In the case of Robert he will also be seeking compensation for revisionary surgery to try and improve the scar – providing he’s given reasonable guarantee the wound can be improved,” he said.
“These are significant cases because safety is paramount and considering the number of people that have mobile phones and smart watches something like this should never happen in any circumstances.
“We’re talking about companies worth billions and billions of dollars – these devices are tested – anyone who owns any mobile phone or smart watches would never expect for this to occur.”
Apple confirmed to NCA NewsWire they had received the lawsuits and were investigating the claims.