wednesday, 19 october of 2016

Samsung Faces Class Action Over Galaxy Note 7 Recalls

After Samsung Electronics pulled the plug on its fire-prone Galaxy Note 7, plaintiffs’ lawyers are pulling the trigger on a class action against the reeling South Korean technology giant.

Samsung a week ago said it’s halting production of the Galaxy Note 7 following back-to-back global recalls in response to a string of reports about the device and its replacement catching fire. The company tried to make amends: It offered Note 7 owners $100 off their next smartphone if they stick with Samsung or a $25 discount if they don’t.

That wasn’t enough to stave off a proposed class action filed in New Jersey federal court. The complaint alleges the botched recalls cost Note 7 buyers nationwide millions of dollars.

States the lawsuit:

Following Samsung’s advice, consumers discontinued using their Note 7s only to find out that Samsung did not have replacement smartphones available. Instead, Samsung informed consumers that they would have to wait several days, and even weeks in many cases, before receiving a replacement smartphone.

The Oct. 16 complaint, which alleges breach of warranty, breach of good faith and common law fraud, seeks to represent a nationwide class of Note 7 buyers, or at least people who bought the phones in three states: California, Pennsylvania and Nevada.

A Samsung Electronics America spokeswoman in New Jersey declined to comment.

Last week, Samsung’s handset division chief Koh Dong-jin made an apology for the costly debacle, according to the Korea Herald, which said he vowed to “restore trust of consumers so that they can use Samsung products without any safety concerns,”

The lawsuit doesn’t mention Samsung’s credit offer. The lead lawyer for the plaintiffs, Joseph G. Sauder at McCuneWright LLP in Pennsylvania, said it’s not enough to make Note 7 owners whole.

“Our case,” Mr. Sauder told Law Blog via email, “is focused on the amounts Note 7 owners paid for their data and voice plans and monthly payments made to own or finance the phones during the time they were instructed to ‘power down’ until they received a replacement device.”

(Published by The Wall Street Journal - October 18, 2016)

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