Apple Sued over Exploding iPod Touch

Is it an iPod Touch, or an iBomb? Apple is now facing a lawsuit regarding a boy's iPod Touch exploding in his pants. Is he sure that was Apple's device?

It's probably only natural that a caption reading "ipod Touch explodes in boy's pants" generates a whole slew of jokes, and a few will probably even pop up here in the comments section below. And while initially they'll be funny, there's nothing really funny about a 15-year-old teenage boy receiving second-degree burns because of a faulty Apple product. Yet that's what happened: a 16 GB Apple iPod Touch supposedly exploded and caught fire while in the boy's pocket, thus burning his leg. It certainly gives the slogan "burning a hole in your pocket" a whole new meaning.

According to the lawsuit (PDF) filed Thursday in the Southern District of Ohio, the teen was attending school in the Commonwealth of Kentucky and sitting at his desk; the iPod Touch was tucked away deep down in his pants pocket, turned off. The teen heard a loud pop and immediately began to feel a burning sensation on his leg. He quickly jumped up out of his seat to find that the iPod Touch has exploded and caught on fire. He then darted to the nearest bathroom and took off his pants "with the assistance of a friend." Apparently, the device had not only burned through his pants pocket, but melted through his Nylon/Spandex underwear, burning his leg. His mother was called in immediately to rush him directly to the doctor.

According to the lawsuit, the doctor declared the boy's wounds as second-degree burns. "He continues to suffer from both physical and mental conditions which will cause him to suffer pain, mental distress, emotional distress, and otherwise for the rest of his life," the lawsuit adds. The mother adds more turmoil to the pot, claiming that the sales clerks in the local Apple store didn't warn her of the potential danger, that the device could cause some serious bodily harm. The employees, more than likely unaware of any harmful side effects of using an Apple iPod Touch, now face gross recklessness and negligence charges due to malicious and fraudulent salesmanship. Oh, and the entire Apple company faces the same charges as well. That claim makes just about as much sense as saying that every McDonald's employee is guilty for gross recklessness and negligence because a customer burned their tongue on a hot apple pie.

Currently the Plaintiff's mother is suing Apple and the ten unnamed retail employees at a local Apple store for $225,000 in damages comprised of $75,000 for compensatory damages, $75,000 for punitive damages, and $75,000 for legal fees and "special damages." Naturally, Apple declined to comment on the situation, only saying that it does not comment on pending litigation. But as pointed out by CNET News, mobile device explosions are nothing new, however most of the time, they're caused by cheap batteries inserted by the user. It's certainly possible the teen's iPod Touch suffered the same fate if he modded the device with a different battery. Still, until more information comes to the surface, the device's flamboyant malfunction can only be speculated.

According to Apple, the iPod Touch is the "funnest iPod ever." It's probably safe to assume that the burned teen disagrees. Ultimately, this probably won't be the last we hear on this "Hot iPod Incident," as investigators probe into the actual device to determine what caused the fire. The plaintiff better hope that he didn't "jailbreak" his iPod Touch, as that would spell trouble for his defense and possibly terminate the lawsuit.

Note to self: do not put the iPod Touch in pocket.

Kevin started taking PCs apart in the 90s when Quake was on the way and his PC lacked the required components. Since then, he’s loved all things PC-related and cool gadgets ranging from the New Nintendo 3DS to Android tablets. He is currently a contributor at Digital Trends, writing about everything from computers to how-to content on Windows and Macs to reviews of the latest laptops from HP, Dell, Lenovo, and more.