When we think about our smartphones, we think about devices that can potentially save our lives: we use them to call 911 after an accident, to let others know of our locations, and we even store our medical information in them to let others know of any allergies or health conditions we have. However, what if your phone causes you injury? Recently, it was discovered that the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 phone would catch on fire—in fact, it would even reportedly explode—due to a malfunction with the battery. In these cases, Miami personal injury attorneys could sue the cell phone manufacturer, or any one in the stream of commerce on behalf of injured victims in a products liability lawsuit.
One Florida man has already filed suit against Samsung. The plaintiff, Jonathan Strobel, was shopping in Costco when his Galaxy Note 7 exploded, causing a second-degree burn. Strobel is seeking compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other damages. And in fact, the number of lawsuits may grow. So far, Samsung has received 92 reports of issues caused by the batteries. Twenty-six users have reported burns, and 55 have reported property damage. As more reports trickle in, Samsung may have a number of claims to defend. Miami products liability attorneys file claims making at least one of the following allegations: that a product’s design was flawed, that it was manufactured improperly, or that it failed to properly warn consumers of the potential risks of using it. In a defective design case, a plaintiff argues that the design of the product itself caused the harm. For example, in the Galaxy Note 7 example, if the materials in the battery made it overheat and eventually ignite, the issue was in the design of the battery.
If the manufacturing of the product was the problem with the Galaxy Note 7, parties will argue that an issue in the factory caused the batteries to catch on fire. Perhaps the wrong materials were used by mistake in a certain batch of phones, which led to the overheating. If inadequate warnings were the issue, plaintiffs will allege that Samsung did not provide proper warnings about the risk of the batteries overheating and the phones igniting, if the company was aware that this was a possibility.