Samsung Galaxy Phones
Though celebrated early on as Samsung’s comeback year—with strong sales and glowing reviews of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7, S7 and S7 Edge—2016 has quickly turned a devastating corner for the company. Since the release of the Galaxy Note 7 in August 2016, the company’s phones have gone viral for all the wrong reasons.
Around the world, dozens of Galaxy Note 7s have overheated and caught fire, causing personal injury and property damage. The battery issue was initially thought to be isolated to this specific model—until S7 and S7 Edge owners reported similar experiences.
The Galaxy Note 7 was officially recalled on September 15, 2016. However, S7 and S7 Edge phones continue to be sold and even offered as replacements to Note 7 owners. While Samsung still denies there is anything wrong with their other models, lawsuits have been filed against the company for their S7 Edge and Note 7 phones.
Batteries Can Overheat and Catch Fire
Typically, battery fires in electronic devices are rare, with only a few cases reported each year. However, Samsung’s problems aren’t the first of its kind, and the fire hazard present with lithium-ion batteries are well known.
In 2006, Dell recalled 2.7 million notebooks, and in 2016, half a million Hoverboards were recalled for battery fire hazards. With 112 Galaxy Note 7 fires reported worldwide within a month of the phone’s launch, it makes Samsung’s battery problems just as notable and alarming.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) realizes the dangers these exploding devices present, and now prohibits passengers from turning on or charging recalled or damaged lithium-powered devices. This ban, however, hasn’t prevented other Samsung models from exploding on board, including a Note 2 and a Samsung tablet.
Though popular for their ability to charge quickly for longer periods of time, without the proper mechanical systems in place the lithium-ion batteries present in Samsung Galaxy phones can become strained. The phones feature thin separators that offer limited protection from the flammable battery material that can easily overheat.
In addition, the faulty battery system fails to shut off fully charged batteries. As a result, these powerful batteries continue to charge, leading to overheating and a dangerous chemical chain reaction—“thermal runaway”—which can lead to combustion.
There are 92 reported cases of Note 7s overheating.
To date, there are 92 reported cases in the U.S. of Note 7s overheating, including 26 burns and 55 instances of property damage.
But Note 7 owners aren’t the only Samsung customers making complaints. S7 and S7 Edge owners have reported similar incidents, despite Samsung’s claims that these models are safe.
Types of Injuries Caused by Samsung Galaxy Phones
Some of the injuries Samsung Galaxy phones have caused are severe.
Daniel Ramirez suffered second and third degree burns to his leg, groin, and lower back.
Daniel Ramirez suffered second and third degree burns to his leg, groin, and lower back after his S7 Edge allegedly exploded in his pocket. The explosion, which melted Mr. Ramirez’s boxer shorts and pants to his leg, required him to undergo extensive skin graft surgeries and physical therapy. Mr. Ramirez has filed a lawsuit against Samsung seeking relief for medical expenses and pain and suffering, among other damages.
A Note 7 allegedly caught fire in Florida, causing a Jeep Grand Cherokee to go up in flames. A charging Note 7 also seems to be the cause of a garage fire in South Carolina. Luckily, no one was injured in these incidents, but the property damage was extensive.
Though Samsung has admitted to the Note 7 safety hazard, the company continues to dismiss the S7 and S7 Edge incidents as random occurrences. After an S7 exploded in a busy cafe in the U.K., Samsung responded that “there are no known safety issues with Galaxy S7 devices.”
How to Tell If Your Samsung Phone Is Safe
The Samsung recall currently affects all original and replacement Note 7 phones. If you have a Note 7, you can get a refund or exchange it for a Galaxy S7 or S7 Edge.
Though Samsung continues to ignore the S7 and S7 Edge battery fires, you should exercise caution if you own one of these models. Regardless of whether or not you have a Samsung Galaxy phone that has been recalled, there are some safety tips you can follow:
- Always charge your phone in a ventilated area, removing the phone case if necessary.
- Avoid charging your phone in excessively hot or cold environments, which can stress and weaken the battery.
- If your phone becomes overheated, stop charging it immediately and, if possible, remove and replace the battery as soon as it is cool enough to touch.
Lawsuits Filed Against Samsung
Currently, Samsung faces two lawsuits: one for the S7 Edge phone and one for the Note 7.
The first lawsuit filed against Samsung for an overheating phone was for the S7 Edge. ClassAction.com attorneys filed the product liability lawsuit on behalf of Daniel Ramirez, who suffered from third degree burns after his S7 Edge allegedly exploded in his pocket on May 30, 2016 while on a job site in Ohio.
In an interview with KCRA, attorney Mike Morgan called for an investigation into whether the explosion is related to the faulty battery that plagues the Note 7, saying, “Our theory is that they are connected. The batteries are produced by the same company, SDI.”
(Samsung still has yet to expand the product recall to include the S7 Edge or other models.)
Shortly after the Note 7 recall, Samsung faced another lawsuit. Florida resident Jonathan Strobel filed a lawsuit on September 16, 2016 alleging a similar incident to Mr. Ramirez’s. Mr. Strobel says his Samsung Galaxy Note 7 exploded in his pocket, causing a second degree burn on his right thigh. The lawsuit asks for compensation for medical expenses, loss of wages, and pain and suffering.
Samsung Lawsuit Claims
As more and more Samsung Galaxy explosions and fires occur in the vicinity of unsuspecting owners, the mounting evidence suggests that Samsung is at fault for selling defective products.
Samsung Galaxy phone lawsuits allege some combination of the following:
- Failure to operate as marketed or advertised
- Inadequate or absent instructions and warnings
- Dangerous and defective condition, with a propensity to explode under normal conditions
What Can You Recover from a Samsung Galaxy Lawsuit?
A lawsuit for an Samsung Galaxy explosion or fire can result in compensation for:
- Medical expenses, including hospital bills
- Lost wages
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Pain and suffering
Samsung Lawsuit Eligibility
If you have a Samsung Galaxy smartphone that has overheated, exploded, or caught fire—resulting in personal injury or property damage—you may be entitled to compensation.
Hold Samsung Accountable
Our firm has a successful track record of tackling some of the biggest companies in the world, recovering more than $2 billion overall. If you own a Samsung phone that has exploded or caught fire, contact us to explore your legal options. You will receive a free, no-obligation case review, and may be entitled to compensation.