February 17, 2019
Apple Sued By Woman Who Claims Faulty iPad Caused Fire That Killed Her Father

A New Jersey woman recently filed a lawsuit against Apple, alleging that the company used a defective battery pack in an iPad, sparking a fire that ended up killing her father almost two years ago.

As reported by NJ.com on Saturday, 64-year-old Bradley Ireland of Parsippany, New Jersey, died hours after suffering serious injuries in a fire that broke out in his apartment in the early morning of February 22, 2017. Ireland's daughter, Julia Ireland Meo, filed her lawsuit against Apple on Wednesday as the executor of her father's estate and alleged that the fire resulted from a "defect in the subject tablet" that affected the iPad's battery pack.

"The subject tablet was unreasonably dangerous and unsafe for its intended purpose by reasons of defects in its design and/or its manufacture and/or a lack of adequate warnings which existed when Defendant Apple placed the subject tablet into the stream of commerce and/or when Defendant distributed and/or sold 'updates' to the subject tablet," the lawsuit read, as quoted on a separate report from AppleInsider.

Per NJ.com, Meo did not list any details on why she believes an iPad was responsible for the fire, nor did she elaborate on any specific defect with the tablet's battery pack. Likewise, the lawsuit is seeking an unspecified amount of compensatory damages, interest, costs, and attorney fees from Apple.

In all, Apple is being sued for a total of three counts, including one count each for strict products liability, wrongful death, and survival action. Per AppleInsider, the latter count covers the "significant pain" Ireland allegedly suffered between the time he suffered the burns and the time of his death.

This is far from the first time that an individual has claimed that a serious battery defect in a mobile device triggered a fire. As recalled by AppleInsider, the most egregious case of such a defect was the one involving the Samsung Galaxy Note 7, where complaints of battery-related fires were so common that the South Korean company ultimately recalled the device. However, the publication noted that it's "relatively rare" for Apple to be involved in these cases.

Despite the apparent rarity of combustible Apple devices, there have also been some recent cases where users claimed that their iPhones did indeed catch fire. In December, Ohio man Josh Hilliard alleged that his iPhone XS Max spontaneously caught fire and exploded while in his pants pocket, per 9to5Mac. While the publication cautioned that it had yet to authenticate Hilliard's claim at the time of its report, it noted that it wasn't likely "long-term battery abuse" caused the fire, as the incident took place less than one month after he purchased the device.