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Judge tosses lawsuit targeting allegedly faulty iPhone 4 power button

A U.S. district court judge on Wednesday threw out a case leveled by two iPhone owners who claimed the allegedly "wiggly" power buttons of some iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S handsets are hazards to users.

iPhone 4 Power Button

iPhone 4 power button flex cable. | Source: iFixit

According to court minutes, U.S. District Judge Gary Feess denied the request by Ross Missaghi and Charles Thompson to bring Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) claims against Apple and AT&T over an allegedly faulty iPhone power button design, reports GigaOm.

In their complaint, first filed in February, the plaintiffs alleged Apple knew that a power button design flaw existed in the iPhone 4 and 4S, but did nothing to rectify the situation.

A number of scenarios were cited that looked to prove possible harm from the purported defect, which apparently does not allow a user to turn off their phone. One of the more quizzical allegations involved taking a faulty iPhone on a plane.

From the dismissal:
Thus, every time [Plaintiffs] or another owner of a defective iPhone 4 or iPhone 4s brings the device on an airplane, unless the individual has thought ahead and gone through the inconvenience and time required to allow the battery to drain, the defect causes potential interference with ‘communications, navigation, flight control, and electronic equipment’ in the airplane. The defect thus presents a safety hazard not only to the owner, but to everyone else on the airplane, as well as potentially people on the ground.

Judge Feess ultimately dismissed the claim, saying the plaintiffs failed to prove a breach of warranty and RICO.

The court will allow one final opportunity at an amended pleading of liability, which must be filed by Sept. 13.

A nearly identical case was lodged against Apple in May claiming much the same as the now tossed suit. In that case, the plaintiff argued that the flex cable mechanism attached to the power button would become inoperable after extended use, usually after Apple's one-year warranty had expired.

The second case, which also looks to bring a class action against Apple, is still in court.