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Man sues Apple for losing memories of the birth of his baby

What is the price of memories? It’s a hard question to answer, but apparently not so much for one man in Surrey, British Columbia who is suing Apple for $25,000 after his Time Capsule back-up drive crashed, taking with it photographs that included the birth of his first child.

According to a report on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s website, Perminder Tung has filed a claim against Apple Canada in British Columbia’s small claims court over the device, which crashed and left the data stored inside permanently lost. Tung says that the device, which he purchased in June 2009, was used to store data from two MacBooks and an iPhone, crashed on May 14, and was pronounced dead May 23 after an Apple Store diagnostic.

According to Tung’s claim, “the defect with the TimeCapsule, which invariably destroyed the stored data, amounts to a fundamental and total breach of contract. The alleged ‘Time Capsule’ did not encapsulate and protect the information it was intended to secure. The breach destroyed the workable character of the thing sold.” As a result, Tung is seeking not only the cost of the Time Capsule ($368.48, if you’re curious; the Apple Store had originally offered a replacement at a lower rate of $252 plus tax but Tung refused), but also the cost of a replacement back-up hard drive and wireless router, financial compensation for loss of data, “special damages” and costs of bringing the suit, as well as “such further and other relief as this Honorable Court may deem just.” All told, that somehow totals $25,176 Canadian, which at today’s exchange rate, comes out as $24605.15 US.

(If you’re wondering why $25,176 as opposed to just $25,000, well, it costs $156 to file the lawsuit, with an additional $20 in service fees. Even if you hope to win $25,000 from a company, it’s not like you want to pass up the opportunity to save $176, right…?)

But wait, you’re thinking: If it was his Time Capsule that went down, what about the original files that were backed-up on the device? Surely they’d be okay, right? Not so much, apparently: The claim mentions that “Unfortunately, the iPhone which was backed-up on the Time Capsule failed before the new back up hard drive was purchased,” before going on to melodramatically state that “the data from the iPhone is forever lost, at the hands of the failed TimeCapsule. The iPhone contained important information and memories around the birth of the Plaintiff’s first child and other significant memories.”

Now, let’s be real for a second, here. Yes, it’s sad that Tung’s iPhone and Time Capsule both failed and he lost his data; clearly, he doesn’t have the greatest amount of luck with Apple product. However, claiming that the failure of these devices has harmed his memories of the birth of his first child and “other significant memories” is just ridiculous; unless the Time Capsule was acting as Tung’s own biological memory, his memories will be just fine, thank you very much. What he lost were mementos, keepsakes at best; while I think he had reason enough to claim something from Apple for the crash, $25,000 seems more than a little excessive.

Apple, perhaps unsurprisingly, hasn’t responded to the lawsuit as yet. Perhaps they should send him a free invite to store his images in iCloud from now on.

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