Olivia Retter, a British schoolgirl aged nine, slept on her iPhone 5c handset while the smartphone was housed inside of a protective case from high street clothes retailer, New Look. Overnight, however, a toxic glitter leak saw Olivia suffer a chemical burn, leaving an iPhone-shaped scar on the schoolgirl’s leg.
An iPhone-shaped scar
The case was indeed bought at New Look, according to the Daily Mail. Though the store deals mainly in clothes, New Look also sells a range of accessories, including iPhone cases. The one bought by Olivia featured a snow globe-style design, and it contained “a thick liquid that allowed glitter sparkles and unicorn and rainbow chapels to move around when shaken,” the report notes.
This all sounds reasonable enough. Yet when Olivia fell asleep on top of her case-enclosed iPhone 5c, the case’s outer lining split and this toxic substance flowed onto the outside of the handset. From here, “the chemical then transferred onto the young girl’s leg, burning the shape of the phone into her skin as she slept.” Olivia’s mother explained:
Doctors have said it is a severe chemical burn and she will be scarred for life. I can’t believe it, she will have a scar in the shape of a phone on her leg.
The case cost a reported £5.99 (around $8.63) from New Look in Cambridge on Dec. 27. According to Olivia’s mother, no safety warning was displayed on the outside of the case; she’s apparently called New Look’s customer service three times over the incident, but has yet to receive a response.
New Look did, however, provide a comment to the Daily Mail:
In line with our health and safety procedure, we have now instructed all stores to remove the product in question from the shop floor with immediate effect.
Our quality team have also begun an investigation with the supplier to understand and prevent this from happening in the future.
Of course, if you bought this case from New Look, extreme caution is advised. If only the iPhone could reject non-certified cases, too.