Samsung Faces First Consumer Class-Action Suit Over Note 7

  • Suit filed in New Jersey federal court by three consumers
  • Note 7s banned on U.S. airlines after some caught fire

The Samsung Galaxy Note 7.

Photographer: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Samsung Electronics Co.’s woes over the Galaxy Note 7 smartphone have moved into the courtroom.

Three people who bought the phones, which were recalled because the Note 7 is prone to catching on fire and exploding, sued the electronics maker’s U.S. unit. In the first consumer class-action suit to be filed over the troubled device, the Note 7 owners seek unspecified damages and an order requiring the company to repair, recall and/or replace the phones, and extend applicable warranties.

Samsung told its customers that they would have to wait days or weeks for a replacement phone. In the meantime, they’re charged monthly fees by carriers for phones they can’t use, according to the complaint, filed Oct. 16 against Ridgefield Park, New Jersey-based Samsung Electronics North America Inc.

"These phones people were being advised not to use -- and were not using -- all of them are part of data and voice plans," Richard McCune, the plaintiffs’ lawyer, said in an interview. "This is to recover the cost of the voice and data plan during the time that you couldn’t use your phone."

Regulators have banned the model from carry-on and checked baggage on all U.S. flights and last week said passengers who try to carry Note 7 phones onto planes will have them confiscated and may face fines.

Samsung didn’t immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment on the lawsuit. The company cut its third-quarter operating profit by $2.3 billion last week after deciding to permanently end production of the troubled smartphone.

The case is Waudby v. Samsung, 16-cv-07334, U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey (Newark).

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