The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 was officially recalled by the Consumer Product Safety Commission on October 15th, 2016. Prior to this recall, Samsung had issued a voluntary recall of the Note 7 following several instances of the battery overheating. At the time the recall was issued, 26 reports of burn injury and 55 reports of property damage had been made to Samsung. Property damage has included fire in both cars and garages, though no homes have as of yet been destroyed by this defective product.
If you or a loved one has been injured by a Samsung Galaxy Note 7, please contact GoldenbergLaw online or by calling our Minneapolis office at 612-436-5026 today. We serve victims of defective product injury in Minnesota and throughout the nation.
What is causing the Problem with the Samsung Note 7?
As with most smartphones, the Samsung Note 7 uses a lithium ion battery. Inside of lithium ion batteries is a liquid that is incredibly flammable, though this is not an issue so long as the positive and negative sides of the battery are kept fully separated. With the Note 7, design defects have allowed for small holes in the protective layer of the batteries, allowing electricity to flow between its positive and negative sides. This flow of electricity heats the liquid inside of the Note 7 battery. If this heating happens rapidly enough, the battery can catch fire and the phone can explode.
This problem is not new. In fact, it is the same issue that was behind last year’s hoverboard explosions as well as previous Samsung phone issues and iPhone explosions in 2015 and 2016. However, because lithium ion batteries are smaller and lighter, most electronic manufacturers continue to use them despite their risks. It should be noted that, while this issue is far from new, the Samsung Note 7 is of particular concern due to the number of fires and injuries it caused within its first month on the market – 112 worldwide, with 96 occurring in the United States alone.
Bloomberg News reports that, according to an unpublished preliminary report sent by Samsung to Korea’s Agency for Technology and Standards, this design flaw “placed pressure on plates contained within battery cells. That in turn brought negative and positive poles into contact, triggering excessive heat.” This suggests that the company, not the manufactures of lithium batteries used in the phone, is liable for any damages that may occur from the overheating of its product.
What are the Risks?
Risks posed by the Samsung Note 7 include:
These risks are possible even with the replacement Note 7s sent out by Samsung following the voluntary recall. There is even some evidence that Samsung made efforts to hide injury caused by replacement Note 7s. Samsung has since stopped manufacturing the Note 7 entirely and is now offering replacements of a similar product to users returning their phones. If you have a Samsung Note 7 and are looking for information regarding replacement, exchange, or refund, visit the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s Samsung Note 7 recall page for step-by-step instructions.
Can Legal Action be Taken After a Recall is Issued?
Samsung issued a recall for the Note 7 in September of 2016 and an official recall was issued one month after. Do these recalls protect the company from liability when their device causes injury? Much of that depends on factors surrounding your case.
A recall is not a shield against liability, but it does offer some legal protections to the manufacturer. To establish liability, several things must first be taken into account, and this is where having an experienced product liability attorney becomes necessary. Without an attorney on your side, you will be left at the mercy of a major electronics company, their attorneys, their insurance adjustors, and their excuses. With the help of a dedicated legal team, you can effectively fight against these powerful interests and improve your chances of securing fair compensation for your injuries.
The defective smartphone lawyers at GoldenbergLaw have decades of combined experience helping victims of dangerous consumer products get justice. We are prepared to investigate the cause of your injury, hold the appropriate party accountable, and fight tooth and nail for the total compensation your injury demands.
Victims of defective smartphones deserve justice. To learn more about your rights, please call us at 612-436-5026 and schedule your free consultation right away. Our Minneapolis product liability attorneys serve victims of defective Note 7s and other consumer products throughout the nation.