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Canadian Appeals Court: Man Suing Apple must produce the iPhone 5 that Allegedly Burned his Arm

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A man claiming his overheated iPhone 5 burned his arm badly has lost his legal bid to keep the phone out of Apple's hands if he wants to pursue his damages claim against the company. In dismissing the novel challenge from Matthew Riddell, the Ontario Court of Appeal found no reason to interfere with a lower court who agreed Apple should be able to inspect the iPhone, CTV News reports.


The Canadian Appeals Court wrote: "In this products-liability case, the appellant seeks damages for what he alleges were personal injuries caused by the negligent manufacture of an iPhone. Yet he refused, absent a court order, to permit an independent third-party expert to inspect the iPhone prior to trial at no cost to him to assist the trial judge in determining the central matter in dispute between the parties."


Riddell launched a $25,000 lawsuit in small claims court against Apple Canada claiming his iPhone 5 overheated, causing severe burns to his right arm. Apple asked to inspect the phone but Riddell refused.


In November 2015, a small-claims judge ordered him to turn over the phone to Apple for expert examination ahead of a hearing. The judge found that the phone was at the foundation of the damages claim and it would be unfair to make Apple go to trial "without the benefit of an inspection."


"In this case, it is clear that an examination of the iPhone 5 is critical to a proper determination whether it could have caused the damages that the applicant claims," the panel stated. "The applicant categorically said that he would be calling expert evidence. In light of that stated intent, fairness required that the respondent be given the same opportunity that the applicant would have to inspect the iPhone 5."


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