In what could be the first lawsuit in the United States related to the exploding batteries of the Galaxy Note 7, a man from Florida filed charges against Samsung after the smartphone exploded while in the front pocket of his pants.
According to the lawsuit, which was filed by a man named Jonathan Strobel, the smartphone exploded on Sept. 9. That date is a week after Samsung launched an unofficial worldwide recall of the Galaxy Note 7 because of incidents of exploding batteries, but a week before the Consumer Product Safety Commission launched the official recall of the device yesterday.
Strobel, 28 years old, was said to be in a Costco store along Palm Beach Gardens when his Galaxy Note 7 exploded. The device burned through his pants, which led to severe burn injuries on his right leg.
Strobel also suffered from severe burn injuries on his left thumb, as he tried to remove the burning smartphone from the pocket of his pants.
Keith Pierro, the lawyer representing Strobel, said that the burn was a second-degree one, and that the mark it left on Strobel's right thigh was about the same size of the Galaxy Note 7.
"Unfortunately for my client the recall came too late," Pierro added, referencing the official recall of the smartphone.
This is the reason why Consumer Reports criticized the global recall first announced by Samsung, as without going through the proper process of involving the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the government did not have the authority to enforce measures that would have protected the safety of the consumers.
The lawsuit filed by Strobel is seeking damages for the medical bills and lost wages, along with the pain and suffering that he experienced from the exploded Galaxy Note 7. The amount being sought by the lawsuit was not specified.
Danielle Meister Cohen, a spokesperson for Samsung, said that the company does not provide comments on pending litigation, instead urging customers to turn off all Galaxy Note 7 devices and to exchange them as soon as possible.
The recall, however, has been moving very slowly. According to a video message released by Samsung, 130,000 Galaxy Note 7 units in the United States with the faulty battery have been replaced, which is still a small percentage of the over 1 million Galaxy Note 7 smartphones sold in the country.
It was only a matter of time before Samsung started receiving lawsuits for the exploding batteries of the Galaxy Note 7. It remains to be seen whether there will be more filed against the South Korean company related to the incident, but multiple reports on the damage that the smartphone is causing does not inspire confidence that Samsung will not be served legal actions in the near future.