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Utah law firm sues Apple over 'touch disease' problems


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SALT LAKE CITY — A Utah law firm is taking Apple to court with a class action lawsuit over the “touch disease” phenomenon paralyzing iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus devices.

Attorneys with Christensen, Young & Associates filed the suit in federal court in Utah Wednesday, alleging Apple had a “longstanding knowledge” of a design defect that led to the problem, and has refused to repair and replace affected iPhones without charge to the phones’ owners.

“We are seeking damages and what we ultimately want is for Apple to either make some sort of amends with (money) or provide new phones to the clients,” attorney Zane Christensen said.

The lawsuit currently includes seven named plaintiffs from Utah, but Christensen said his legal team was seeking any others who had experienced the same troubles and had interest in joining the action.

Christensen said Apple pushes users to purchase a new iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus that can suffer from the same defect, or the company charges owners to install a new IC touch unit.

“It’s putting a Band-Aid on top of a Band-Aid instead of fixing the real problem,” Christensen said. “What they’re doing is just charging individuals a couple hundred dollars for these service calls basically to give them another ticking time bomb.”

Christensen said sensor chips correlated to the phone’s touch movements were not properly secured to the logic board during production.

Midvale-based iQue Repair manager Rob McElaney said symptoms of the issue can include white or gray flickering lines on the screen, along with the touch screen losing functionality.

McElaney said his store alone has been receiving as many as 10 calls per week about touch disease troubles, which happen to be one of the few problems his technicians cannot resolve and have to refer back to Apple.

“Sometimes you can hard reset your phone and that will temporarily alleviate the problem, but over time it’s just going to get you stuck,” he said. “Not every 6 Plus that we touch has this issue, but — increasingly so — it’s becoming a real problem.”

The Utah-based class action appears to be the second lawsuit of its kind filed against Apple within the past week, with the other going before a federal court in California.

Attempts to reach Apple for comment Wednesday did not immediately result in a response.


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Andrew Adams


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