Samsung is currently facing a class-action lawsuit in the United States after angry customers filed the first claims against the company over its exploding Galaxy Note 7 smartphone. The three plaintiffs – from Nevada, Pennsylvania, and California – are accusing Samsung Electronics America of fraud and breach of warranty and good faith. The suit itself does not seek any damages over the Galaxy Note 7 smartphones that actually caught fire, but rather Samsung’s mistreatment of customers. It claims that the customers had to keep paying on their contracts during the weeks after Samsung recalled the phones, but before any replacements had become available for use. Customers are waiting several days to several weeks for replacement phones while they continue to incur monthly device charges for phones they cannot safely use.
Exploding cell phones have been an issue with other companies in the past, but the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 is the most notable one to date. So far, there have been 92 reported incidents of the smartphones either exploding or catching fire, including 26 reports of burns caused by the smartphone and 55 reports of property damage. It is important to note that these numbers are only the cases reported to the government itself. It was suspected that a Galaxy Note 7 caused a garage fire in South Carolina, resulting in the owner’s house being condemned. The owner’s Galaxy Note 7 was plugged in and charging in the garage when it ignited. In another case, a jeep in Florida caught on fire and was totaled when a man left his Galaxy Note 7 charging inside the vehicle.
So what exactly is causing the phones to malfunction? The battery in the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 is a rechargeable lithium-ion unit. These batteries are made up of charged atoms that flow from the negative end of the battery to the positive end. These atoms move in reverse toward the positive side when the phone is charging on its cord. Allegedly, during the manufacturing process, a mistake was made that allowed the positive and negative ends of the battery to come into contact with each other. When this happens, a short-circuiting of the battery can occur, which can lead to overheating and possible fires and explosions. These phones can overheat to the point where they will cause burns when making contact with the skin.
Between the damage caused by the product and investors leaving the company, Samsung has lost more than $14.3 billion. While the company hoped that the Galaxy Note 7 would be the best phone released to date, it ended up being the worst. From now on, Samsung will only use batteries provided by the Chinese company Amperex. The company will now have to buy those batteries rather than use the ones they make themselves. In the future, procuring such a supply could pose to be a problem due to high demand.
If you have been injured by a defective product, it is of the utmost importance to contact a reputable personal injury attorney. The Law Offices of Levine & Slavit, PLLC has represented a wide range of clients in personal injury matters related to dangerous or malfunctioning products and will make sure you receive the compensation you deserve. Contact (888) LAW-8088 for a consultation today.