Medical Malpractice and Personal Injury Law Blog

Exploding iPhone Case Changes Jurisdiction

Posted by Charles Gilman | Mar 14, 2017 | 0 Comments

Smartphones are commonplace in today's world, and few are more popular than Apple's iPhone. The handheld device has had several different models and comes out with a new version each year. While the public makes widespread usage of these devices, there have been certain cases where these electronics are not as safe as one would like to believe. It was not so long ago that a Samsung phone was banned on airplanes for incidents involving the phones exploding or bursting into flames. The phones were even banned from any air travel at one point. While Samsung has received a large amount of bad press for these incidents, Apple has recently been the subject of a lawsuit filed over the unexpected explosion of one of its devices. In February of last year, a Pennsylvania youth, Kyler Mowery, was injured when his iPhone 5 exploded without warning.

An Exploding iPhone

According to court documents filed regarding the incident, Mowery suffered severe burn injuries, internal injuries, along with nervous system shock, chronic aches, pains, and mental anguish and anxiety. The lawsuit claims that the product was defective. Either the phone itself was malfunctioning, or the battery placed in the phone caused the explosion.

This can be a common occurrence in mobile devices. Many make use of a lithium ion battery. When this battery overheats, it can cause the battery to possibly catch on fire, or even explode. These types of explosions are common in phones, portable battery chargers, and vaporizer smoking devices.

Mowery's lawsuit seeks damages for negligence and strict liability. The lawsuit seeks compensatory damages up to $50,000 plus legal fees. The case was initially filed against Apple in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas, however, the case has had some difficulty gaining momentum, as counsel representing Apple has motioned to have the case filed in the nearby Schuylkill County Court of Common Pleas. The reason for this was because the incident itself took place at the plaintiff's school, which was located in Schuylkill County.

Under Pennsylvania law, a legal action can take place in several venues, depending on the scenario in question. However, Apple seeks to argue that the action should take place in the "county where the cause of action arose" for this particular case.

Determining Jurisdiction in Civil Cases

When filing a personal injury claim or other civil liability claims, one important thing that your attorney must determine is what jurisdiction the case should be brought in. What court has jurisdiction over a case will depend on the facts and circumstances of the particular case. There may be several potential options, including state or federal court. Sometimes, as with Mowery's case, the defendant may dispute what court has jurisdiction and a judge will have to decide what venue is appropriate.

If you or a loved one has been injured, contact the legal professionals at Gilman & Bedigian today.

About the Author

Charles Gilman

As managing partner and co-founder of Gilman & Bedigian, it is my mission to help our clients recover and get their lives back on track. I strongly believe that every person who is injured by a wrongful act deserves compensation, and I will do my utmost to bring recompense to those who need and deserve it.

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