The other shoe has dropped. A Florida man named Jonathan Strobel has filed what is believed to be the first lawsuit against Samsung, pertaining to the fires and explosions brought on by defective Galaxy Note 7 units. Strobel suffered severe burns after the phablet exploded in his front pants pocket. He was walking inside a Costco store on September 9th at the time of the incident.
Reaching into his pocket, Strobel suffered a burned thumb, and his right leg received a severe burn.
Kieth Pierro, Strobel’s attorney, said that his client “…has a deep second-degree burn, roughly the size of the phone, on his right thigh. Unfortunately for my client the recall came too late.”
This is where Samsung’s decision not to officially recall the phone until September 15th could bite them in the ass. Even though Samsung recalled the phone on September 2nd, it was a voluntary recall. Consumer Reports pointed that out the very next day.
On the other hand, the media continually implored Galaxy Note 7 users to turn off the phone. Those warnings appeared earlier than the September 9th date when Strobel was injured. While we don’t practice law, we would imagine that Samsung will point to the number of warnings in the media and question why the plaintiff not only kept his phone powered on, but took a big risk by putting it in his front pants pocket. But Samsung should be prepared to get lambasted over its tardy decision to officially recall the phablet.
The manufacturer says it will not comment on pending litigation. The suit, filed in Florida state court in Palm Beach county, seeks unspecified damages for bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other injuries alleged by the plaintiff.
We should see more suits against Samsung filed shortly. According to U.S. safety regulators, in the states Samsung has received 92 reports of Galaxy Note 7 batteries overheating, 26 reports of burns and 55 reports of property damage.
Ironically, on the same date that Strobel was injured, we told you that a lawsuit against Samsung had been filed by one Daniel Ramirez. The latter suffered second and third degree burns when his Samsung Galaxy S7 edge exploded in his shirt pocket. Ramirez had to undergo painful skin grafts while hospitalized for his injuries.