State Farm Fire and Casualty is Suing Apple for a Defective MacBook that Caused a Home Fire – Patently Apple
The State Farm Fire and Casualty Company is suing Apple for $155,187.08 plus additional costs laid out in the complaint. The insurance company is acting as Subrogee of Andrew J. Heron and Deborah Heron. According to the complaint, a MacBook’s built-in battery expanded, failed and overheated causing the MacBook to overheat, melt and caused a fire at the Residence in Virginia as detailed in the complaint.
The complaint never mentions the model number of the MacBook nor how old the “laptop” was at the time of the fire. While the complaint mentions the family using an Apple charger, the complaint never mentions whether the charger was purchased from an Apple Store directly or from a non-Apple website. Apple is on record suing Mobile Star back in October 2016 for selling counterfeit chargers that could cause fires.
The Facts according to State Farm
On or about October 13, 2015, and at all relevant times hereto the Herons maintained a Rental Dwelling Policy of insurance (“the Policy”) with State Farm covering a residential dwelling located at 12107 Purple Sage Court, Reston, Virginia 20194 (“the Residence”), which was owned by the Herons.
The Herons’ daughter, Elizabeth A. Heron resided at the Residence with her then-husband Tyler Harris.
At the same time and place, Elizabeth A. Heron was the owner and user of an Apple laptop consisting of, among other things, a built-in component battery and aluminum enclosure and its associated Apple charger (collectively the “Apple Laptop”). At all pertinent times herein, including October 13, 2015, the Apple Laptop and its component parts (including the battery) were defective and unreasonably dangerous to the consuming public, including the Herons and their daughter, Elizabeth Heron. At all pertinent times herein, including October 13, 2015, the Apple Laptop and its component parts (including the battery) were situated inside the Residence.
Upon information and belief, the Defendant Apple designed, manufactured, assembled, marketed and placed the Apple Laptop into the stream of commerce. In the alternative, the Defendant Apple is the apparent designer, manufacturer, assembler, marketer and seller of the Apple Laptop having the Apple Laptop designed, manufactured, assembled, marketed and placed into the stream of commerce by a third-party on its behalf.
The Defendant Apple labeled the Apple Laptop with the Defendant’s brand name and/or logo in multiple locations thereon, including, but not limited to, on the top of the Apple Laptop.
On or about October 13, 2015, Elizabeth A. Heron was reasonably and/or properly using and/or charging the Apple Laptop at the Residence.
At the same time and place, due to its defective and unreasonably dangerous condition, the Apple Laptop’s built-in battery expanded, failed and overheated causing the Apple Laptop to overheat and melt, and causing a fire at the Residence.
The fire caused extensive structural damage to the Herons’ Residence and the personal property located therein.
Pursuant to the aforementioned policy of insurance issued by State Farm, the Plaintiff State Farm paid the Herons approximately $154,187.08 and the Herons paid a deductible of $1,000.00, for a total of $155,187.08, for the damages resulting from the fire.
By virtue of this payment, the Plaintiff State Farm is subrogated to the rights of the Herons as against the Defendant Apple, pursuant to the provisions of the aforementioned policy of insurance and Va. Code § 38.2-207.
Three Counts against Apple
Count 1: NEGLIGENCE
Count 2: BREACH OF IMPLIED WARRANTY OF MERCHANTABILITY
Count 3: BREACH OF IMPLIED WARRANTY PURSUANT TO THE MAGNUSON-MOSS WARRANTY ACT
What is State Farm asking of the Court?
In the ‘Prayer for Relief’ segment of the complaint, State Farm Fire and Casualty Company is seeking $155,187.08 plus pre-judgement interest from October 13, 2015 through to the date of judgement, post-judgment interest, court costs, reasonable attorney’s fees and litigation expenses, and for such other and further relief as the Court deems appropriate.
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