Karen Kidd Mar. 25, 2016, 11:22am


NEWARK, N.J. (Legal Newsline) – Samsung isn't saying anything publicly in response to a recent class action lawsuit filed against it, and so far it hasn't told the court anything, either.

The company had until Thursday to file an answer to the class action filed against the electronics giant in U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey. The lawsuit alleges Samsung's Gear S2 smartwatch is defective.

Instead, Samsung asked for, and was granted, an extension of time to file its answer, which is now due in May.

Meanwhile, Samsung isn't talking about the case. In response to an email asking for comment from Legal Newsline, Danielle Meister Cohen, manager of Samsung's North American Corporate Communications, wrote "Thanks for reaching out. No comment."

The lawsuit Samsung faces, Whiteman v. Samsung Electronics America. Inc., was filed in New Jersey federal court by Corrine Whiteman of Illinois. 

Whiteman claims Samsung is in violation of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, breach of express warranty, unjust enrichment, the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act, as well as the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act.

If the court grants class action status, all U.S. Class Members who bought a Gear S2 smart watch could enter the case. Whiteman also claims standing to represent an Illinois state subclass of Gear S2 owners. There could be more than one million eligible class members, according to the lawsuit.

Samsung began selling the fully circular Tizen-powered Gear S2 smartwatch with its distinctive rotating bezel last October.

Whiteman’s allegations stem from her purchase of a Gear S2 watch in November, paying almost $300, and believing the Gear S2 to be made from high quality material designed to withstand everyday use. After about two months, Whiteman alleged her Gear S2 band began to tear away from its adhered metal connector, stripping away the connection to the watch's body.

This caused the metal connector to become lodged in the Gear S2's body, the lawsuit claims.

Whiteman claims she contacted Samsung support but was warranty coverage and blamed for the damage. Samsung accused Whiteman of breaking her Gear S2 through “excessive force, misuse, improper storage, neglect, or unusual physical damage,” the lawsuit claims.

Whiteman claims Samsung support told her it would neither fix the alleged defect nor replace the Gear S2 under the device's warranty but that she would be allowed to pay for the repair.

“Please be advised that physical and liquid damage are not covered by the limited warranty," Samsung is quoted in the lawsuit. "There will be repair cost for the repair.”

That, Whiteman's lawsuit claims, runs counter to Samsung's warranty that “devices and accessories are free from defects in material and workmanship under normal use and service."

Whiteman is represented in the case James C. Shah and Natalie Finkelman Bennett of Shepherd, Finkelman, Miller & Shah, LLP; and John F. Edgar and Boyce N. Richardson of Edgar Law Firm, LLC.

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Organizations in this Story

Samsung Electronics
129 Samsung-ro Suwon-Si, Gyeonggi-Do 443-742 Korea
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Shepherd, Finkelman, Miller & Shah LLP
11755 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90025

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