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Apple sued over iPhone 4 glass breakage

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By Charles Starrett

Contributing Editor
Published: Friday, January 28, 2011
News Categories: Apple, iPhone

Apple has been sued in a California court over the iPhone 4’s glass housing. LA Weekly reports that Donald LeBuhn has filed a class action suit in L.A. County, claiming that the company is aware of the problem and refuses to warn customers that “normal” use of the device could lead to a broken glass panel. Citing LeBuhn’s suit, the report states that he purchased an iPhone 4 in September, and has the glass break on him three weeks later when his daughter accidentally dropped the phone three feet to the ground. The suit also points to Apple’s statements that the glass is “20 times stiffer and 30 times harder than plastic” as misleading. “Months after selling millions of iPhone 4s, Apple has failed to warn and continues to sell this product with no warning to customers that the glass housing is defective,” the suit reads. LeBuhn is asking Apple to refund of the purchase price of the iPhone 4 to all those in the class action suit, to reimburse customers for any repair fees they’ve incurred, and to make restitution for “their overpayment in purchasing defective iPhone 4s.” [via The Washington Post]

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Comments

1

Good for them… About time Apple was made to pay for false advertising.
I am also putting together a class action suit against those pirates around the iPad claim that it is ‘Magical’ and ‘Revolutionary’.

I have had my iPad sitting on the desk for almost a year now and it has yet to spin around by itself OR have any rabbits jump out of the screen… (and yes, before you ask, I did plug it in!)

Bloody waste of money, I really feel cheated by these false claims.

Posted by Boca on January 28, 2011 at 10:16 AM (PDT)

2

These user-initiated class-action lawsuits against Apple are almost always meaningless. But in this case, Mr. LeBuhn makes one excellent point, with which I agree: “Apple’s statements that the glass is ‘20 times stiffer and 30 times harder than plastic’ [are] misleading. This is clearly not the case. And it is a seemingly factual statement, in contrast to the obvious marketing hyrbole statting the iPad is “Magical” and “Revolutionary.”

Posted by Farnsworth on January 28, 2011 at 11:36 AM (PDT)

3

@#1:  LMBO!
@#2:  you clearly are unaware of the meanings of these words. And you clearly don’t understand the difference between plastic and glass.
It’s people like you and this ambulance-chaser that would keep me from starting a business in this country.

Posted by sb on January 28, 2011 at 12:58 PM (PDT)

4

@#2:
As a materials science graduate , I can assure you that Glass is many time more stiff and hard than any polymer (plastic).

However it is also more brittle (“smashy”).

Apple’s claims therefore cannot be really be contested.

This is the trade-off.  Do you want a product that does not scratch when it touches your keys and coins in your pocket?  Or do you want one that is guaranteed not to crack when you drop it on concrete?

From my opinion, a product should be able to survive everyday use without blemish, but if I drop it, I have to take responsibility for the consequences.

Posted by Allen on January 28, 2011 at 1:45 PM (PDT)

5

@#4:  Exactly.  You can’t win when people are raised to not take respopnsibili for their own actions.
“gave it to his child and she dropped it”
Lord. Blame Apple.

Posted by sb on January 28, 2011 at 2:07 PM (PDT)

6

I agree that there are trade offs, scratch resistant vs shatter resistant, but lets face it, very few people understand these trade offs.  As an average Joe if I am told that the glass is stronger and stiffer than plastic I’m going to instantly believe that it is going to be more difficult to shatter, nor am i going to question about it.  So yes it is very misleading, then again what advertisement isn’t?

Maybe i should sue apple on the ground that when I download a completely black picture with one white speck the size of a pixel, i can indeed see the pixel:  which is contrary to what is stated on apple’s website about the retina display:

——“Retina display’s pixel density is so high, your eye is unable to distinguish individual pixels”

It’s going to be interesting to see the outcome.

Posted by iTouchFAN on January 28, 2011 at 3:09 PM (PDT)

7

Next thing you know someone will try and sue a fast food chain for making hot coffee. Oh, wait…

Posted by RiverRat on January 28, 2011 at 9:55 PM (PDT)

8

@#7:

I love how people always throw that suit out as if it is a frivolous lawsuit. The coffee was so hot that when she spilled some on her clothes, it actually made her clothing stick to her genitals and legs. It resulted in third degree burns and she had to undergo numerous skin graft procedures. She was in a parked car and accidentally spilled the coffee on herself, and she sued BECAUSE it was so ridiculously hot. She wanted to settle to cover the costs of medical expenses (both past and future) and lost wages from the work she missed (around $20,000) and McDonalds offered $800. That is why she sued.

Posted by JD on January 29, 2011 at 1:05 PM (PDT)

9

I love the fact that they think dropping a phone 3 ft (probably on the sidewalk) is normal use.

Posted by hugo on January 29, 2011 at 8:27 PM (PDT)

10

Dropping phone resulting in glass breaking = daughter’s fault, not Apple’s

Lesson learned, don’t drop phone.

Posted by Kloan in Toronto, ON on January 30, 2011 at 9:39 PM (PDT)

11

#8, you’re missing one important fact. She placed the coffee between her legs instead of using her cup holder.  She asked for $20,000 why not just give her $50,000 and put a big smile on her face.  Remember everything leads back to common sense….... 

Well said #10….

Posted by GR8ONE on January 31, 2011 at 10:58 AM (PDT)

12

Ridiculous! What in the WORLD is wrong with people?

Glass breaks…quel surprise!

Posted by Teechur on February 1, 2011 at 11:37 AM (PDT)

13

@ #11

The fact is McDonald’s used to heat their coffee in pressure boilers that made the coffee ridiculously hot when it was served. Ask an older person who used to drink coffee from there and they will certainly remember. It was understood by many that you couldn’t drink the stuff for a good 10-15 minutes after receiving it.

Their negligence in handing out cups of scalding hot liquid, capable of causing 3rd degree burns is what caused them to lose in court.

So yes, it was her fault for spilling the coffee. Placing it between her legs might not have been a genius idea either. Cars did not always come equipped with a cup holder in those days unfortunately.

Just because you trip and fall while walking into McDonald’s does not merit a litigious response, nor would spilling your coffee in most cases. In this circumstance the suit was most certainly justified and anybody in a similar situation would do the same.

The fact that she received $750,000 instead of the $20,000 she requested is due only to the arrogance of McDonald’s corporate attorneys and the wisdom of the judge and jury.

All of that being said, clearly this broken glass lawsuit is a frivolous one. I’m incapable of being angry with daddy’s little girl, but, somebody MUST pay for this!

-Daniel

Posted by Daniel on February 1, 2011 at 1:57 PM (PDT)

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