Apple Facing Class Action Over Texting-And-Driving

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Santa Clara, CA: A proposed unfair business practices class action lawsuit has been filed against Apple alleging the tech giant doesn’t install a “lock-out-device” on iPhones to prevent California motorists from texting while driving, putting profits ahead of customer safety.

Filed in California state court the complaint represents proposed class plaintiff Julio Ceja who claims that Apple has been granted a patent by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in 2014 for the “lock-out-device” technology. However, Ceja claims the company has failed to modify iPhones with the device for fear of losing market share to other phone makers, to the detriment of public safety. According to the lawsuit, Apple has had the technology to prevent texting and driving since 2008.

The complaint alleges unlawful, unfair and fraudulent business acts and practices by Apple. The suit seeks to block the company from selling iPhones in California that do not have the disabling lock-out device. Additionally, the suit seeks a court order that Apple update its existing iPhones with this technology.

The complaint notes that Apple generated $8.5 billion in profit from smartphone sales in the third quarter of 2016 alone, and an average of 586,000 iPhones per day in 2016.

"With 26 percent of these accidents being caused by motorists using their cellphones, and Apple's 40 percent market share, this translates into at least 52,000 automobile accidents in California being caused by Apple's iPhones each year," the complaint states.

Ceja, who lives in Orange County, CA, was waiting at a stoplight when a driver distracted by her iPhone struck him from behind, causing damage to his car and injuring his back, according to the complaint.

The lawsuit describes the proposed class as "all California residents whose safety has been put at risk as a result of Apple's failure to install 'lock-out devices' on their iPhones," starting from the time Apple began selling iPhones in the state, in 2007, to present day.

Ceja is represented by Jonathan A. Michaels, Kathryn J. Harvey and Kristen R. Rodriguez of MLG Automotive Law APLC.

The case is Julio Ceja v. Apple Inc., case number BC647057, in the Superior Court of the State of California, County of Los Angeles.

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Reader Comments

Posted by

DUMB, DUMB and DUMBER should be the title of this lawsuit! Only person more ignorant than the greedy plaintiff is the lawyer who agreed to take the case. People like these folks are part of the reason the court system in the U.S. is so screwed up and slow. You might as well say that the car manufacturers are responsible for all drunk driving accidents (or even arrests FOR DWI) since there is a device that would prevent ANYONE from driving drunk available and the car manufacturers choose not to install it in every car they manufacture. STUPID STUPID case ... can I PLEASE be on the jury!!

Posted by

the law needs to be tougher on drivers who causes the accident with a cell phone. suspend they're licence for 5 years, and 100K fine plus the cost for doctors ect. that is for the 1st offence. the 2nd. revoke
the licence. 200k fine plus, and mandatory that half of the persons wadges be garnished.
Ya try to get that law passed

Posted by

Are you joking!? People being stupid is the reason they text and drive and get into accidents. So, let;s say Phones do get this lock out feature, Does the phone not work at all while your driving? People get into crashes while dialing and answering too. If that is so, what if a woman is being pursued, she would be unable to call for help. This sue happy idiot needs to be laughed out of court. He didn't get enough money from the girl's insurance and wants more. greedy SOB.

Posted by

This lawsuit is outright STUPID! The motorists should be the ONLY one responsible for his/her actions. Jeeeeze, why not sue the car manufacturer? The street light? The doctor who delivered the driver? Suing the phone manufacturer/designer is just plain ignorant and greedy!!!!!!!!!

People are always looking for a way to make a buck instead of working and living an honest life!

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