Apple’s iPhone ‘Touch Disease’ Lawsuit Is Heating Up

October 10, 2016, 5:13 PM UTC
Apple's New Big-Screen iPhones Draw Long Lines As Sales Start
Tim Cook, chief executive officer of Apple Inc., stands for a photograph during the sales launch for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus at the Apple Inc. store in Palo Alto, California, U.S., on Friday, Sept. 19, 2014. Apple Inc.'s stores attracted long lines of shoppers for the debut of the latest iPhones, indicating healthy demand for the bigger-screen smartphones. The larger iPhone 6 Plus is already selling out at some stores across the U.S. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Photograph by David Paul Morris — Bloomberg/Getty Images

A lawsuit against Apple over its handling of the iPhone’s so-called “Touch Disease” has intensified.

Three more law firms have signed on to sue Apple over a screen problem in the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, according to tech news site Motherboard. In addition, the site said another class-action lawsuit has been filed against Apple in Utah, accusing the company of failing to fix the same defect in the two-year-old iPhones.

Touch Disease refers to a defect in the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus that cause tiny soldered balls under the smartphone’s screen to crack during regular use and render their touchscreens useless. The problem, first identified over the summer, was given its name by hardware-repair firm iFixit.

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Some iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus owners had complained that their smartphone screens were either working only periodically or not at all. Those same customers complained to Apple, which ending up trying to charge them for replacements instead of fixing the problem for free. In some cases, the plaintiffs say, Apple has replaced damaged iPhones with refurbished models that also had the same problem.

In response, three iPhone owners sued Apple in August in a California federal court for allegedly keeping the defect a secret and refusing to fix it. The plaintiffs encouraged other law firms representing other plaintiffs to join the suit.

Now, those class members are one step closer to getting their wish after fellow iPhone owners signed on to their California lawsuit and opened another front in Utah. Richard McCune, an attorney representing plaintiffs in the California lawsuit, told Motherboard that nearly 10,000 people have contacted his firm about the Touch Disease, and said that he believes the latest lawsuits will only strengthen his case.

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“With these firms working with us, we believe it gives us the best chance of obtaining a positive result in the case for the owners of the phones,” McCune told Motherboard in an email.

Apple has argued in a court filing for the various cases to be consolidated into a single class action suit. The company has not formally responded to the details in the complaints.

Apple did not respond to a Fortune request for comment about Touch Disease or the lawsuits.

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