Apple facing class action lawsuit in US over damaged watch screens

An Apple Watch
It's the second time the company has faced a lawsuit over its watch faces. Photo credit: Getty Images

Apple is facing a class action lawsuit in the United States after a group of customers said a flaw in the design of the Apple Watch can cause injuries.

According to Bloomberg, the customers allege that the company failed to ensure there was enough room in the compact case to take into account the potential swelling of the internal battery. When that occurs, the watch screen can then crack or shatter.

"The detached, shattered, or cracked screens are a material and unreasonably dangerous safety hazard," the complaint read.

"The screens are made either of Ion-X glass (aluminum models) or sapphire crystal glass (stainless steel and titanium models) and each have a razor-sharp edge on all four sides."

The lawsuit was filed by four customers, with one alleging a deep slash on her arm was caused by the screen coming off her Series 3 Apple Watch.

The group is looking to represent anyone who owned a watch from the first edition in 2015 until last year, excluding anyone with the new Watch 7 series.

In 2019, the company announced a program to replace cracked screens on certain models of its Series 2 and 3 watches. 

"Apple has determined that, under very rare circumstances, a crack may form along the rounded edge of the screen in aluminum models of an Apple Watch Series 2 or Series 3. The crack may begin on one side and then may continue around the screen," the Apple New Zealand website said.

The Cupertino-based tech giant has previously faced another class action lawsuit over the watch screen in 2018.

Complainants in that case alleged a similar flaw that caused the screens to crack, shatter or detach and said Apple was aware of the defect but chose not to honour any warranty claims.

They sought US$5 million in damages, but it was thrown out by a federal judge who said the "plaintiff failed to identify a specific defect", website 9to5Mac reported.