Exploding Cell Phones

When Samsung announced the Galaxy Note 7, it promised a state of the art, efficient smart phone meant to make consumer’s lives easier. However, the month following the release in 2016 was marred by reports of overheating devices, leading to fire, explosion, and personal injury. While the causes of this defect are now known, and the phones have been recalled, the injuries sustained by negligence on the part of Samsung are still important to report.

What causes a phone to catch fire?

When a phone “explodes,” it is really the battery grossly overheating, as was the case in the Samsung Galaxy Note 7. Months after the recall, Samsung finally announced what was causing the batteries to overheat and catch fire. Lithium ion batteries sourced for the phone from Samsung SDI and Amperex Technology Limited were not properly insulated and shielded from heat. This essentially caused the cathode and anode (positive and negative ends of the battery) to touch, causing the battery to heat and short circuit.1

Dangers of overheating phones

In September, the United States Consumer Product and Safety Commission announced a full recall of the Galaxy Note 7. They reported that as of September 15, 2016, Samsung had received 92 reports of batteries overheating, and these included 26 reports of burns and 55 reports of property damages including fires.2

When you own a phone that overheats, obviously the biggest risk is fire and burning to your person, family, and property. However, even if you do not sustain injuries or property damage, phones are expensive. The Galaxy Note 7 retailed at over $800. If a cell phone manufacturer urges you to stop using a device due to safety concerns, the onus of replacement may be on the company if they failed to make the customer aware of these safety concerns.

Who to call

If you or someone you love has been injured in a cell phone over-heating accident with the Galaxy Note 7 or any other device, it is important to seek legal counsel to get the justice you deserve. SWFL attorneys at Goldstein, Buckley, Cechman, Rice, and Purtz have over 50 years of legal experience in dealing with personal injuries. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.