After two tumultuous months on the market, Korean technology manufacturer Samsung has announced that it will stop production on the Galaxy Note 7. The phone has been blamed for at least one vehicle fire and has been the subject of dozens of reports of overheating.
The Galaxy Note 7, anticipated to be one of the most advanced phones on the market, was released in the US on August 19, 2016. While well-reviewed, reports soon began to arise that the phone’s batteries were prone to overheating, even to the point of burning the phone’s back. Soon, the extent of the problem became clear when Samsung announced that it had received over 90 reports of overheating Note 7 batteries, with 26 incidents of burns and 55 incidents of property damage, in the short time it had been available for sale. One Florida man watched as his SUV burned down to the frame after a Note 7 charging in the car’s center console caught fire. Many major airlines barred their passengers from carrying the phones on their planes, due to the burn risk.
In concert with the Consumer Product Safety Commission, Samsung issued a voluntary recall of approximately 1 million Note 7 models that had been sold in the US, in addition to recalling millions more sold in other countries. At the time, Samsung announced that the overheating problem was attributable to a manufacturing error by the makers of the phone’s battery, and not in the design of the product. Samsung created a replacement Note 7 that it asserted would not have the same overheating issue. Many customers trusted that the product had been fixed and would now be safe; 90% of all Note 7 owners who took action in response to the recall notice elected to receive a replacement Note 7 rather than accepting a different Samsung phone model or taking a cash refund.
Samsung had, unfortunately, failed to correct the issue, a fact which became clear shortly after customers who had accepted a replacement Note 7 began using them. The batteries again were prone to overheating and burning. In particular, one Southwest plane had to be evacuated when a passenger’s phone began to smolder after the owner powered it down. Samsung announced on October 11 that it had stopped production on the Note 7, and that all Note 7s sold in the US would be recalled, with customers being offered either cash or a different Samsung phone model in exchange.
Manufacturers, distributors, and sellers all have an obligation to ensure that the products they sell are safe to use and will work as advertised. When a customer who trusted a product to be functional and safe is injured by that product, the manufacturer, distributor, or seller may be financially liable to that customer for the costs of their injuries through a product liability lawsuit. Samsung could face a large financial burden in compensating consumers all over the world for their injuries due to failing to ensure that its device was safe before selling it.
If you’ve been injured by a dangerous, poorly-designed, or dysfunctional product in Connecticut, ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve for your medical expenses, lost work, and pain and suffering by contacting the skilled Connecticut product liability attorneys at The APEX Law Firm in Hartford County at (860) 900-0900 or through our online contact form.