Case: 3:17-cv-00563-wmc Document #: 1 Filed: 07/20/17 Page 1 of 4

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF WISCONSIN

STATE FARM FIRE AND
CASUALTY COMPANY, Case No.: 17-CV-563
One State Farm Plaza
Bloomington, IL 61710,

and

XAI THAO,
1791 82nd Street
New Richmond, WI 54017,

Plaintiff,

v.

APPLE INCORPORATED,
1 Infinite Loop
MS: 38-3TX
Cupertino, CA 95014,

Defendant.
______________________________________________________________________________

COMPLAINT
______________________________________________________________________________

Plaintiffs, State Farm Fire and Casualty Company and Xai Thao, for their Complaint

against the Defendant, Apple Incorporated, state as follows:

JURISDICTION

1. The Subject Matter Jurisdiction of this Court is invoked pursuant to 28 U.S.C.

§ 1332 as the plaintiffs and the defendant are citizens of different states, are diverse parties and the

amount in controversy exceeds $75,000.00.

2. Venue is proper in the Western District of Wisconsin pursuant to 28 U.S.C.

§ 1391(b)(2) because a substantial part of the events or omissions giving rise to the claims occurred
Case: 3:17-cv-00563-wmc Document #: 1 Filed: 07/20/17 Page 2 of 4

in this district and a substantial part of the property that is the subject of this action is situated in

this district.

PARTIES

3. Plaintiff, State Farm Fire and Casualty Company (“State Farm”), is an insurance

company licensed to sell insurance in the State of Wisconsin, with its principal place of business

located at One State Farm Plaza, Bloomington, Illinois.

4. Plaintiff, Xai Thao (“Thao”), is an adult resident of the State of Wisconsin residing

at 1791 82nd Street, New Richmond, Wisconsin.

5. Defendant, Apple Incorporated (“Apple”), is a business incorporated in the state of

California with its principal place of business located at 1 Infinite Loop, MS: 38-3TX, Cupertino,

California. Apple’s registered agent for service of process is CT Corporation System, 818 W 7th

Street, Suite 930, Los Angeles, California 95014.

FACTS

6. All prior paragraphs are incorporated by reference.

7. At all times relevant and material hereto, Thao owned the home located at

, New Richmond, Wisconsin.

8. Upon information and belief, Thao purchased an Apple iPhone 4s (the “iPhone”)

in 2014.

9. Neither Thao nor anyone else ever changed the battery in the iPhone.

10. On or about April 1, 2016, the iPhone failed, starting a fire in Thao’s home.

11. Preliminary investigations show evidence of a significant and localized heating

event in the battery area of the iPhone as well as remnants of internal shorting, indicating that an

internal failure of the iPhone’s battery caused the fire.

2
Case: 3:17-cv-00563-wmc Document #: 1 Filed: 07/20/17 Page 3 of 4

12. Based upon information known at this time, there were no other potential fire

sources in the area of origin of the fire.

13. Further, preliminary investigations indicate that the heating event originated within

the internal battery area of the iPhone and that the damage to the iPhone’s battery was not caused

by fire attack.

14. At the time of the fire, State Farm had issued to Thao, and there was in full force

and effect, a policy of property insurance which insured Thao against the damages caused by the

iPhone. As required by the policy, State Farm paid Thao, or paid on her behalf, for the damages

caused by the iPhone less any applicable deductible, and is subrogated to the rights of Thao to the

extent of its payments.

15. As a result of the fire, Thao sustained losses that she was required to pay out of her

own pocket as the damages were not covered under State Farm’s policy of insurance.

FIRST CAUSE OF ACTION: STRICT PRODUCT LIABILITY AGAINST APPLE
INCORPORATED

16. All prior paragraphs are incorporated by reference.

17. The design, manufacture, and sale of the iPhone created a dangerous, unsafe, and

defective condition, which existed at the time the iPhone left the hands of Apple.

18. At the time the iPhone was designed, manufactured, and placed into the stream of

commerce by Apple, it was in a defective and unreasonably dangerous condition.

19. At all times material hereto, Apple was engaged in the business of designing,

manufacturing and/or selling iPhones of the type purchased by Thao.

20. The aforementioned iPhone was expected to, and did, reach its end user without

substantial change in the condition it was in when it left the business premises of Apple.

3
Case: 3:17-cv-00563-wmc Document #: 1 Filed: 07/20/17 Page 4 of 4

21. As a direct and proximate result of Apple’s negligence in the design, manufacture,

and/or sale of the iPhone, Thao sustained damage to her personal property.

SECOND CAUSE OF ACTION: NEGLIGENCE AGAINST APPLE INCORPORATED

22. All prior paragraphs are incorporated by reference.

23. Apple was negligent in designing, manufacturing, and/or placing in the stream of

commerce the iPhone purchased by Thao.

24. Apple’s negligence was the cause of the damages to Thao’s property.

WHEREFORE, State Farm Fire and Casualty Company and Xai Thao demand

judgment against Apple Incorporated in an amount to be determined, plus prejudgment interest,

all taxable costs, fees and disbursements and all other just and equitable relief.

Dated this 20th day of July, 2017. YOST & BAILL, LLP

Attorneys for Plaintiffs,
State Farm Fire and Casualty Company and
Xai Thao

/s/ Teirney S. Christenson
Teirney S. Christenson
Wisconsin State Bar No: 1056438
2675 North Mayfair Road
Suite 600
Milwaukee, WI 53226
Telephone: (414) 203-2054
Facsimile: (414) 259-0610
tchristenson@yostbaill.com

4