Apple not liable for FaceTime bug

When Apple announced group FaceTime it was fraught with problems, and even had it’s release pushed back. Back in January 2019 a bug was discovered that meant users could have their conversations spied on even if they did not answer the call.

As a result of this bug Apple disable FaceTime calls and users were left waiting on a fix, which came in iOS 12.1.4. In the interim a Lawyer Larry D Williams II from Houston filed a Lawsuit.

The Lawsuit

Williams filed the suit just one day after the bug was published by Bloomberg. Williams claimed that a person listened in on a sworn testimony during a client deposition, but was unable to say who listened in. The suit was for an unspecified punitive damages for negligence, product liability, misrepresentation, and warranty breach.

The Ruling

The courts ruled in Apple’s favour yesterday stating

Williams’s petition does not allege facts about any available alternative design. He fails to allege facts about the iOS 12.1 software as to whether the defect that allegedly allowed a third party to “eavesdrop” on his group FaceTime call was “unreasonable” for the product’s ordinary use. Williams’s generalized allegation that the iOS 12.1 software was “unreasonably dangerous” and caused him injury falls short of the Rule 8 threshold.

Williams’s petition recites the pleading elements, but it does not allege facts that could show Apple’s knowledge of the defect or that Apple could reasonably have foreseen that an unknown third party would listen to Williams’s group FaceTime call without his permission.

Williams’s claim also fails because he did not state facts that could show that Apple’s alleged negligent design or manufacture of the iOS 12.1 software proximately caused his injury.

The ruling should not come as a surprise as there was little evidence that bug was “unreasonably dangerous” on Apple’s part.