Apple sued over alleged screen defect inWatches
A Colorado man has sued Apple in San Jose, alleging the company sold knowingly defective Watches in which the screen could shatter or pop out fromthe body, sometimes only days after they were purchased.
Kenneth Sciacca filed his lawsuit with the U. S. District Court for Northern California against the Cupertino tech giant on Monday, alleging that all four generations of Apple Watch have the same screen defect and that Apple “has actively concealed and failed to disclose the defect.”
“Apple’s conduct, when confronted with the defect, indicates that its internal policy is to deny the existence of the defect, claim the defect is the result of ‘accidental damage’ caused by consumers, and then refuse to honor its limited warranty on those grounds,” the lawsuit alleges. “Without limited warranty coverage, consumers are forced to incur the significant expense of repairing or replacing their defective Watches.”
Sciacca is suing Apple on six counts — three of which allege Apple’s breach of warranty. He demands $5 mil- lion in restitution from the company. Sciacca also seeks class-action status to be able to include anyone in the United States who purchased any of the four Apple Watch models.
Sciacca is represented by the San Francisco-based law firm Shepherd, Finkelman, Miller & Shah. Kolin Tang, who is representing Sciacca in this case, did not respond
to a request for comment.
Apple also did not respond to a request for comment.
Sciacca purchased an Apple Watch Series 2 on or about December 1, 2016, from an authorized Apple store in Colorado Springs, Colorado. On or around March 9, 2018, Sciacca’s Watch screen became detached from the body after he removed the watch from its charger, according to the lawsuit.
Apple Store employees who examined the Watch said that the detachment was because of “non-warrantable damage” rather than a swollen battery — whichwould have been cov- ered by Apple’s warranty. They quoted Sciacca a $249 repair fee, which Sciacca declined, the lawsuit states.
“At all pertinent times, Sciacca maintained his Watch as recommended by Apple,” reads the lawsuit. “Sciacca’s Watch was in like-new condition, with no scratches on the screen or damage to the body.”
In the lawsuit, Sciacca alleges that he was not the only Apple Watch owner frustrated by the defect and Apple’s response. The lawsuit cites 16 comments listed in Apple’s Communities forumsharing the owners’ experiences of their Apple Watch screen falling out, saying the internet is “replete” with similar instances.
“Owners of defective Apple Watches are faced with unenviable — and expen- sive — options,” reads the lawsuit. “They can pay over $200 to repair an already expensive Watch; they can purchase AppleCare+ for at least $49 (and then pay an additional $69 service fee for each incident); they can purchase a new Apple Watch; or they can simply not use their Watch. Under any option, consumers must either pay more for the continued use of an already expensive Watch or be deprived of its use entirely.”
Since launching Apple Watch in 2015, Apple repeatedly had to extend warranties on multiple Watch models due to a swollen battery defect. In April 2017, Apple extended its warranty for the firstgenerationWatches experiencing battery issues from one year to three years. A year later, Apple offered the same warranty extensions to select Watch Series 2 models with battery issues.
Apple Watch warranties extended beyond battery issues, however. In July 2017, Apple began repairing firstgeneration Apple Watches for free if the device’s back cover separated from the watch body — but not the front screen.
“A reasonable consumer expects and assumes that, when he/she purchases an Apple Watch purportedly designed for active wear and use, the Watch screen will not spontaneously crack, detach, or shatter when it is being usedwithin its normal and/or expected range of operation,” the lawsuit states.
A Colorado man is seeking class-action status and $5million in restitution in a lawsuit against tech giant Apple. The lawsuit alleges that Apple knowingly sold defective Watches.