Apple faces lawsuit over swollen batteries in Apple Watches

“New Jersey resident Gina Priano-Keyser has filed a proposed class action lawsuit against Apple this week in U.S. district court, accusing the company of fraudulent business practices and breach of warranty related to the Apple Watch, according to court documents accessed by MacRumors,” Joe Rossignol reports for MacRumors. “Priano-Keyser alleges that all Apple Watches up to and including Series 4 models are prone to a defect that results in the lithium-ion battery swelling and causing the screen to ‘crack, shatter, or detach from the body’ of the watch ‘through no fault of the wearer, oftentimes only days or weeks after purchase.'”

“Priano-Keyser states that she purchased an Apple Watch Series 3 in October 2017. In July 2018, while charging, she alleges that the screen ‘unexpectedly detached’ from the watch’s body and cracked,” Rossignol reports. “The plaintiff booked a Genius Bar appointment in August 2018, but upon inspection, she alleges that Apple denied to repair the Apple Watch free of charge under warranty and instead quoted her an out-of-warranty fee of $229 for service.”

Rossignol reports, “The complaint cites over a dozen similar experiences described by users on the Apple Support Communities over the past few years.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Check out the photo of Priano-Keyser’s Apple Watch included in MacRumors‘ article. The thing looks like it’s been through World War I and then, for good measure, the entirety of WWII.

Some people treat electronic devices very, very poorly.

Even with no shocks to the device at all, with the millions of Apple Watch units sold to date, there are bound to be a small percentage with lithium-ion batteries that swell.


  1. Well I went to bed with my Apple Watch III sitting on the charger. I woke with the screen popped open. I blamed myself for sleeping late and letting it charge “too much.” It got so much electrons it plumped like a turkey. Sucker was warm too. It still works, but I just don’t have the spiritual energy necessary to take it into Apple.

    Maybe I will now with a copy of this article.

    Like a good dripping wet fanboi, I just giggled and purchased an Apple Watch IV.

    Never again. It’s over for me and the ecosystem. I will only buy the best, the way I used to, when the best was always Apple.

    1. I am on my third MacBook Air, in as many months, because of the keyboard. If it goes again, I will ask for a refund and, for the very first time, buy a PC. Either a Dell XPS or a Huwai Matebook. I feel driven away from Apple by Apple.

    2. Nowadays there is no excuse for a device which permits itself to overcharge its battery. If the battery swells from overcharging, that’s either a defective battery, defective programming, or defective electronics.

    3. I have had no problem with my 3 Apple Watches except that sometimes incidental contact can cause it to change watch faces and sometimes Siri randomly triggers- elastic sleeves on pullovers maybe?

      As to Apple’s decline, I replaced my MacBook Pro 13″ with a Surface Pro as I am tired of paying tomorrow’s prices for yesterday’s technology. Even with the cover, pen and an upgrade to Windows 10 Pro it costs less than a new 13″ from Apple. To be honest, I use my laptop the least compared to my desktop Mac and iPad Pro.

      Apple went on an incredible run from the return of Steve Jobs until his demise, but is wandering farther and farther off track. They are not obsessed with designing bicycles for the mind that enable people to be more creative and productive- they just want to sell you stuff and by subscription.

  2. Dozens of failed batteries out of tens of millions sold? Doesn’t sound like a crisis.

    That said, I feel for the people who had problems. Apple knows a lot about batteries. They probably have a good idea what’s happened. If they haven’t already they should help these people out.

  3. The wife’s Apple Watch – the original model – had the screen pop off a couple months ago. Took it to Apple, they setup an exchange by mail, whole process flawless. This is on a 4- or 5-year-old device. If they wouldn’t fix this Gina’s, there was a good reason for it.

  4. My story is that I accidentally left my watch in my shorts. The shorts got washed and dried. I only realized what I had done when I was unloading the dryer.
    The watch was very hot but other than a few scratches looked okay. I let it cool down for a few hours before trying to switch it on. Not surprisingly nothing happens. I put on a charger and miraculously it started to charge. I let it charge while keeping a close eye on it in case it exploded.
    The watch worked pretty well after charging. It was a bit quirky for a few days and then behaved as normal.
    I know there are some production issues but this story shows how robust Apple’s products can be.

  5. My wife’s original Apple Watch had that happen after the warranty expired. We took it to the Apple store, and it took them about three seconds to to tell us it would be repaired at no cost. In fact, they replaced it with the newer model. Apple customer service is second to none.

  6. Class action for an isolated incident (if true) that, based on the filing, occurs 1-2x per year! This is a small claims action if anything. The plaintiff is simply being greedy and likely hoping for a nuisance payoff of $50K or something to dismiss.

    I doubt the court will accept this as a class action. They have to locate and then get all of the people on the Apple Support Communities to sign on to the case to even have a hope of getting this off the ground and they probably still lack the required numerosity.

  7. I’ve had a Series 1 Aluminum 38 and a Series 1 SS 42 screen pop off. Both screens came off while charging on an Apple Watch cord overnight. Both were over a year old, so they were out of warranty. Apple agreed, they were out of warranty and offered me a replacement at a slightly reduced price. Yeah, no thanks. Bought Series 4 LTE models. They are much more fun to interact with than any other watch I own and way less expensive.

  8. This same law firm tried the same class action before a Federal Court in California and had it tossed out by the judge. Now they’re trying it in Federal Court in New Jersey. They’re judge shopping which judges frown on.

  9. From that picture there seems to be a lot of other scratches around the screen edge, more so than just a cracked screen due to battery swelling. Also from that pic (2nd) the screen doesn’t look detached.

    As for Apple – I have only ever had to go to them twice for faults. 1 my iMac (2010) had screen burn/ fading after a couple of months… which they changed for free.

    The other was with my mums iPad Mini (either 1st or 2nd gen), which froze and wouldn’t start up again after an iOS update. Whilst that was a good couple of years old and well outside of warranty period, they replaced under consumer rights.

    So from personal experience they have always been OK

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.