Calif. man files class action suit against Apple over broken iPhone 4 glass
Figuratively speaking, Donald LeBuhn is breaking the glass and pulling the alarm
The California resident filed a class action lawsuit Tuesday against Apple Inc. alleging that Apple's iPhone 4 has a manufacturing defect that causes its glass housing to break after "reasonable use."
In the filing, LeBuhn's attorneys tell their client's tale of iPhone 4 woe: When his daughter was using the phone to send a text message, she dropped it from a height of 3 feet, and the phone's glass allegedly shattered. The phone had a protective bumper on it when it was dropped, the suit said. LeBuhn then took the phone to a mom and pop Apple repair store so he could save $50 on the $159 re-glassing job. But because the outlet was not one of Apple's own, his warranty was voided.
LeBuhn is peeved because of what he perceives as Apple's frequent claims about the strength and durability of the iPhone's glass, including demonstration videos showing the glass being bent to extreme angles by a robotic stress testing machine. Apple's promotional materials call the glass "ultradurable," "30 times harder than plastic," and "the same kind used in the windshields of helicopters and high-speed trains."
The suit comes months after an earlier mini-storm over the glass, as blogs and online tinkerers called attention to instances of broken iPhone 4 models. That wave of criticism came on the heels of "Antennagate," where Apple was taken to account for a design issue that sometimes caused the phone's reception to be affected when users held it a certain way.
The complaints about broken glass seemed to trail off after the summer, however. Apple did not respond to a request for comment for this post.
LeBuhn is suing for a variety of monetary damages, attorney's fees, and injunctions attempting to force Apple to contact all iPhone 4 owners to notify them of their "options to replace the damaged glass" -- including the right to a refund and "compensatory damages."
The filing is embedded below.
— David Sarno
Photo: Image from an iPhone 4 promotional video. Credit: Apple.com [Click for full video]