New Jersey resident Gina Priano-Keyser has filed a proposed class action lawsuit against Apple this week in U.S. district court, accusing the company of fraudulent business practices and breach of warranty related to the Apple Watch, according to court documents accessed by MacRumors.
Priano-Keyser alleges that all Apple Watches up to and including Series 4 models are prone to a defect that results in the lithium-ion battery swelling and causing the screen to “crack, shatter, or detach from the body” of the watch “through no fault of the wearer, oftentimes only days or weeks after purchase.”
The plaintiff believes that Apple either knew or should have known that the Apple Watch models were defective before selling them, adding that they pose “a significant safety hazard to consumers” — a “number” of which have suffered “cuts and burns” as a result of the scratched, shattered, or detached screens.
Apple has acknowledged the possibility of swollen batteries in select Apple Watch models in the past, and offered free repairs up to three years after purchase. However, the complaint alleges that the company often attributes the issue to “accidental damage” and thus “refuses to cover repairs” under warranty.
Priano-Keyser states that she purchased an Apple Watch Series 3 in October 2017. In July 2018, while charging, she alleges that the screen “unexpectedly detached” from the watch’s body and cracked. Her daughter “pushed the screen back into place,” but the Apple Watch has been “unusable” ever since.
The plaintiff booked a Genius Bar appointment in August 2018, but upon inspection, she alleges that Apple denied to repair the Apple Watch free of charge under warranty and instead quoted her an out-of-warranty fee of $229 for service.
I follow an Apple Watch group on Facebook, and have long been surprised at how many people have this problem. Members of the group regularly post photos of their watches like this – see the MacRumors article for a photo – and many have said that Apple wouldn’t fix them. (Those with AppleCare are covered, if it’s within the two-year period.)
This is the kind of thing that looks rare, but when I see as many photos of this happening in a group with 17,000 members, it’s clearly not that rare.