West Virginia Record

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Woman sues Apple, water company for fire


By Kyla Asbury | Jul 17, 2019


CHARLESTON — A lawsuit was filed against Apple Inc. and West Virginia-American Water Company alleging a fire caused by a malfunctioning iPad and the negligent maintenance of a fire hydrant caused the total loss of a Kanawha County home.

Maria Marino Potter owned an iPad that she purchased from QVC in approximately 2012, and on March 18, 2018, a fire occurred at her home while she was sleeping when the iPad erupted in flames, according to a complaint filed in Kanawha Circuit Court.

Potter claims she narrowly escaped the home and then called 911 to report the fire and Charleston Fire Department arrived at the home.

When the fire department arrived, they faced difficulty obtaining adequate water to extinguish the fire due to low water pressure at the fire hydrant near Potter's home, according to the suit. 

Potter claims as a result of the difficulty obtaining the adequate supply of water to the fire hydrant, the fire department's efforts were significantly hampered, which resulted in unnecessary damage to her home and possessions.

The fire resulted in Potter suffering injuries and damages, including physical injury, property damage and the death of her two cats.

Apple defectively designed to iPad and it was not reasonably safe for its intended use and was defective, according to the suit.

Potter claims Apple failed to warn her of the defects in the iPad and failed to inspect and test the iPad's issues.

West Virginia-American Water breached its contract with Potter by failing to supply water to her home, including the fire hydrant located near her home, according to the suit.

Potter is seeking compensatory and punitive damages. She is represented by Samuel A. Hrko and Victor S. Woods of Bailey Glasser.

The case is assigned to Circuit Judge Tod Kaufman.

Kanawha Circuit Court Case number: 19-C-373

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