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Apartment & insurance firm sue Apple over lethal iPad fire

A New Jersey apartment complex and its insurance company are together suing Apple to recover payouts for a Feb. 22, 2017 iPad fire, which killed a tenant of the building, Bradley Ireland.

"The subject tablet was unreasonably dangerous and unsafe for its intended purpose by reasons of defects in its design and/or its manufacture and/or a lack of adequate warnings," part of the court complaint reads. Apple is allegedly responsible for damages because it knew — or should have known — that the iPad's lithium battery was an "ultrahazardous mechanism capable of causing damage, even when reasonably used."

The plaintiffs, Union Management and its subrogating insurance company, Greater New York Mutual Insurance Company, filed the case June 20 through the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey.

The pair are pursuing a jury trial, and compensation in the form of "damages for all monies paid by Greater New York Mutual Insurance to Union Management," including the insurance deductible, legal fees, and related interest.

In February this year Ireland's son and daughter launched their own civil suit against Apple, likewise blaming the iPad's battery. A difference in that case is that in addition to charging liability, Ireland's family also claimed that he "experienced significant pain and suffering" before his burns killed him.

Fires in lithium-powered mobile devices are not a new phenomena, but at the same time it's relatively rare for an Apple device to ship with a faulty battery. Lawsuits blaming Apple for fires do occasionally surface, but this may be inevitable given the vast number of products Apple ships.