Apple sued by State Farm over iPhone 4S fire: battery blamed

State Farm, a major insurance company, has sued Apple over a house fire allegedly caused by a defective iPhone 4S. The iPhone 4S contained the original battery, according to the lawsuit, which names both State Farm and Wisconsin resident Xai Thao as plaintiffs, when it experienced a 'significant and localized heating event' that set fire to Thao's house.

The lawsuit cites a preliminary investigation into the incident, which took place on April 1, 2016 and resulted in more than $75,000 worth of damage. The legal document states that the investigation turned up evidence in support of the aforementioned heating event, as well as sites of 'internal shorting' that the insurer believes indicate 'an internal failure' with the phone's battery.

The lawsuit goes on to state that the preliminary investigation turned up damage to the iPhone 4S's battery that wasn't the result of the fire; the heating event, as well, was found to have started within the handset's internal battery region. As well, the probe found no other possible fire sources in the area where the house fire started, leaving only the iPhone to blame, per the legal claims.

It was an unfortunate event all around — though Thao was protected to a certain degree by the insurance policy, the lawsuit states that she had to pay for some things out-of-pocket due to a lack of coverage for them. It isn't clear the total monetary damage caused by the fire, nor the amount the lawsuit seeks from Apple.

The lawsuit document rounds up its claims with a simple allegation: "Apple's negligence was the cause of the damages to Thao's property." The lawsuit is also claiming that Apple was negligent in 'designing, manufacturing and/or placing in the stream of commerce the iPhone purchased by Thao.'

SOURCE: Apple Insider