Only a month after Samsung recalled 2.5 million of its Galaxy Note 7 smartphones for explosion and fire risks that had led to numerous injuries, the appliance manufacturer is back in the news for explosion risks related to another of its flagship products: washing machines.
On September 28, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) released a statement warning consumers of the risk of “impact injuries” and “property damage” resulting from the use of Samsung top-loading washing machines manufactured between March 2011 and April 2016. The news of the phone and washing machines risks coming so closely on the heels of one another is a stark reminder that even the world’s most well-known and wealthy manufacturers continue to release products to the marketplace that present grave risks to consumers.
Samsung’s Washing Machine Dangers: Flooding and Fires
In a class action lawsuit filed against Samsung, plaintiffs alleged that, due to defects in the way that the top-loading washing machines were designed, parts of the machines would violently vibrate when washing heavy loads, and would in some case, “become unfastened, resulting in a dramatic centrifugal explosion that destroys the machine and nearby property.” A study by the consumer website ConsumerAffairs found that 1,300 people had lodged complaints regarding the safety of the Samsung washing machines, and that flooding and even major fires had occurred with the machines, and in many cases the $1,000+ machines were ruined. Samsung reportedly recalled 144,000 washing machines in Australia but has not taken efforts to do so in the U.S., and the recall fix apparently consisted of the application of a plastic bag to avoid the fire risk.
In the September 28 statement, the CPSC stated that it was working with to find a remedy for the risk, and, in the meantime stated, “CPSC is advising consumers to only use the delicate cycle when washing bedding, water-resistant and bulky items. The lower spin speed in the delicate cycle lessens the risk of impact injuries or property damage due to the washing machine becoming dislodged.”
The Ongoing Samsung Galaxy Phone Fire Risks
Although Samsung recalled 2.5 million Galaxy phones in August, it appears that the phones continue to pose a risk and defective phones are still being sold to the public. On October 5, a Southwest flight was evacuated after a Samsung Galaxy phone apparently caught fire in a passenger’s luggage. The owner of the phone claimed that he had picked up the phone as a replacement phone on September 21, after the recall had occurred. This suggests that even after the recall, the replacement phones present a risk to consumers, and the circumstances of the phone being able to potentially start a fire on a passenger airplane is a stunning demonstration of just how catastrophic a defective product can be to the public.
Recovery in Your Defective Product Claim
When a product – whether it be a phone, a washing machine, an automobile, a tool, or other device – causes you either physical injury or property damage due to a defect in the way that the product was manufactured and/or designed, you as an injured plaintiff have the right to bring a product liability suit against both the manufacturer and the seller, regardless of whether you yourself purchased the product. Because they understand the type of monetary liability they will face in court, manufacturers and sellers will often try to get you to waive your rights to bring a suit by offering you a low settlement or replacement, so it is important to consult with an experienced product liability attorney before taking any action to make sure you get the full recovery you deserve.
If you or someone you love has been injured by a defective product in the Pasadena or Los Angeles areas, the attorneys at the Law Offices of Andrew Ritholz will work to get you the justice you deserve. With over 30 years experience in obtaining favorable settlements and verdicts for injured victims inside and outside of the courtroom, our attorneys have the skills and dedication needed to put forward your best case for maximum compensation. For a FREE consultation with a Southern California product liability lawyer, contact us by calling (877) 261-9322 today.