Boy, 3, Sues Apple, Says Parents Compulsive iPhone Use Is Child Abuse
Toddler says iPhones are huge distraction, makes it too easy for adults to neglect caregiving responsibilities
Kyle O’Connor, a three-year-old living in McLean, VA, has filed a lawsuit against Apple Inc., claiming that its popular iPhones are causing his parents to neglect him.
According to Sharon Jansen, O’Connor’s attorney, little Kyle contacted her after not getting breakfast for two days in a row and being forgotten at preschool one Wednesday afternoon. “Kyle did nothing in this case but be who he is, an innocent child,” says Jansen. “Despite this fact, his parents demonstrated a willful neglect here, a conscious and intentional failure to care for him and reckless indifference to his welfare.”
Jansen said that on the mornings in question, Kyle’s mother, Lorraine O’Connor, was texting a girlfriend about a Pilates class and playing Pokemon Go, while his father, Morgan O’Connor, was so intent on completing an after hours stock trade on his iPhone, that he completely forgot to pick Kyle up from preschool.
Asked why Apple was named the defendant in the lawsuit, instead of the parents themselves, Jansen said that her young client understands the addictive power of these sophisticated smart phones. “Kyle realizes that his parents are powerless victims here, too,” said Jansen, “in fact, he himself has been seduced by a Little People Coloring game, receiving a timeout for not climbing out of their minivan promptly when the family arrived at a Walmart on a recent Saturday morning.”
She went on to say, “If Kyle was more articulate, he would tell you this himself — the iPhone device is like crack, a powerful drug and an irresistible distraction from reliable caregiving. Apple knows this, yet it continues to release thousands of apps that will ensure that Kyle, and children just like him, will be totally forgotten by their parents by the time they reach kindergarten.”
Jansen says that her client is suing the device maker for $100 million, citing the cost of his self-care, as well as future trauma therapy, which will likely extend into his 40’s and beyond. “We believe that the financial penalty against Apple has to be significant so that this smartphone maker, as well as all its competitors, understand the gravity of this serious breach in concerns for our children’s welfare.”
Asked to comment on the allegations, Apple spokesperson, Lance Perlmutter seemed confused. “Huh…wait, what? A three-year-old is suing his parents because they’re playing games on their iPhones? So are 800 million other parents and their children, so where’s the problem?” Perlmutter added that if parents are seriously concerned about their inability to break an iPhone addiction, and want to achieve better balance in their lives, “we have a mindfulness meditation app for that.”