Samsung launched its much-anticipated Samsung Galaxy Note 7 on August 19 – just ahead of Apple’s iPhone 7. The Galaxy Note 7 was heralded as one of the most exciting gadgets of the year. It has a sleeker design and can scan the owner’s eyes to unlock the phone. The phone’s hefty pricetag was $850. The company claims to have “rethought the Galaxy Note from every angle.” But, one angle Samsung missed was the safety of the lithium ion battery inside the Galaxy Note 7. Just two weeks after putting the phone on the market, at least 35 units caught fire due to the lithium-ion battery. So far, Samsung has recalled 2.5 million units in 10 countries and has stopped all sales of the Galaxy Note 7. This is the largest cellphone recall in history.
Just days after Samsung issued the recall, a man filed a lawsuit in New Jersey claiming that his Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge smartphone exploded in his pocket while he was working on a construction site, causing second-degree burns to his hands and third-degree burns to his leg and groin. The Plaintiff has undergone a skin graft and extensive physical therapy. The complaint alleges that “Samsung’s misrepresentations and omissions regarding the purported safety and reliability of the defective Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge cell phone were likely to deceive a reasonable purchaser . . . had Plaintiff known that the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge cell phone posed a significant safety and life-threatening defect, he would not have purchased it.”
One month after Samsung’s voluntary recall, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued a recall notice urging consumers to stop using and to power down the recalled Galaxy Note7 devices purchased before Sept. 15, 2016. Despite all the warnings, most Galaxy note owners have continued to use their devices. Data collected by Apteligent, a mobile analytics company, shows only a 13 percent decline in usage of Note 7 devices. This indicates that Samsung’s warnings have not effectively conveyed the seriousness of the defect.
Consumers are often unaware that there are many products on the market with life-threatening defects. Lawyers in our firm’s Personal Injury & Products Liability Section will look at any case involving a significant injury or death caused by products. Our lawyers have handled product liability cases involving automobiles, airplanes, heavy and industrial equipment, workplace equipment, and smoke alarms. For more information, you can contact Cole Portis, who heads up the Personal Injury & Product Liability Section, or Stephanie Monplaisir at 800-898-2034 or by email at Cole.Portis@BeasleyAllen.com or Stephanie.Monplaisir@beasleyallen.com.
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