Hot Pockets: Reported Cases of Cell Phones and E-Cigarettes Burning Users
Over the past several months, you have probably seen reports of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 catching on fire, causing serious injury to its users, as well as property damage in some cases. In fact, the Department of Transportation has banned all airline passengers from carrying the phone on board because of the risks of it igniting and starting a fire. In fact, one of the replacement phones issued by Samsung to a user ignited on a Southwest flight in October of 2016. The phone’s owner, Brian Green, powered down his phone and put it in his pocket while on board the flight, which was awaiting departure from Louisville, Kentucky to Baltimore, Maryland. A few moments later, he “heard a pop” and noticed smoke coming from his clothes.
As of October 2016, over 100 Samsung Galaxy phones had spontaneously burst into flames. Samsung issued a recall of the phones, but for many, the recall came too late. A Florida man has filed a lawsuit against the cell phone manufacturer, seeking compensation for injuries he suffered after his phone caught on fire in his pocket. Jonathan Strobel suffered severe burns when his phone ignited as he shopped in Costco on September 9, 2016. The phone burned his right leg and his left thumb as he tried to get the phone out of his pocket. Strobel, who suffered second degree burns, filed the lawsuit just one day after Samsung issued its recall.
In addition to smartphones, many users of the popular e-cigarette have also suffered injuries after the devices have burst into flames. The e-cigarette industry apparently rakes in an estimated $1.5 billion every year and boasts millions of users. Like the Samsung Galaxy Note 7, it appears that the battery in these devices may be the culprit in reports of spontaneous ignition. Roughly 80 percent of e-cigarette explosions have occurred while the device was charging. However, others have ignited while being stored or while they were being used. Some users have reported burns as a result of the e-cigarette exploding in their mouths, hands, or pockets.
NJ Products liability claims
What do you do when a product, such as a cell phone or an e-cigarette, harms you or a loved one? Millions of victims are injured by defective products every year, and many file legal claims to receive compensation for their injuries. This type of claim is called a products liability claim, and it is included in the umbrella of personal injury claims.
There are three types of products liability claims.
- Defective manufacture: due to an issue with the assembly or manufacture of the product, an individual was injured.
- Defective design: the victim was injured due to an issue with the design of the product.
- Failure to warn: the manufacturer did not provide proper instructions on the product’s use.
A defective product may fall into one or all three of these categories.
Prevailing in a products liability claim in New Jersey
To prevail in a products liability claim, a victim must prove that the product was defective and that the defective product caused the injury. Simply owning a defective product is not enough to prevail in such a claim.
The victim must provide any and all evidence that relates to the claim. This may include medical records, medical bills, photographs, text messages, emails, journal entries, video clips, eyewitness statements, and other such items. Owner’s manuals and other documents related to the product may also be requested from the company that manufactured the product. The parties will attempt to negotiate a settlement throughout the claim; if a settlement cannot be reached, the parties may need to go to trial.
Contact our Freehold NJ product liability attorneys for a free case review
The New Jersey product liability attorneys at Lomurro Law are experienced in a variety of product liability claims. To schedule a free consultation to discuss your claim, call 732-482-9285 or contact us online.