A Florida woman is seeking more than $5 million from Apple on behalf of thousands of iPhone owners who allegedly bought phones with defective power buttons that would not lock or turn off.
In a class action suit filed in San Jose, California, Debra Hilton claims that Apple knew about a defect in a flex cable that controls the on-off button, but chose to stay quiet about it so as to sell more phones.
As evidence, she points to Apple discussion forums viewed by hundreds of thousands of visitors on which users complain of “wiggly” power buttons. Hilton also points to a fix-it video on YouTube and comments by a self-described iPhone repairman who says the power button defect is prevalent on the iPhone 4 which went on sale in 2010.
Apple did not immediately return a request for comment.
The lawsuit claims that the defect typically arises shortly after one year at which point the warranty has expired, forcing consumers to pay $149 for repairs.
Hilton is suing under the RICO statute, a federal racketeering law that has become a vehicle for national class actions. The lawsuit also accuses Apple of violating California’s unfair competition laws.
You can read the complaint for yourself here: