LOS ANGELES (Legal Newsline) - A California woman is suing Samsung, alleging
fraud, false advertising and unjust enrichment for selling a water-resistant
phone she claims didn’t resist water at all.
Dulce Alondra Velasquez-Reyes of Ontario, California, filed a class action
complaint on behalf of herself and others similarly situated Sept. 12 in the U.S. District
Court for the Central District of California against Samsung Electronics
America Inc. She alleges the manufacturer deceived consumers through false
representations that the Samsung Galaxy S7 is water resistant.
According to the complaint, on May 1 Velasquez-Reyes purchased the Samsung
Galaxy S7 cell phone after she was influenced by Samsung's advertisement that
the phone was water resistant.
On July 20, Velasquez-Reyes accidentally dropped her phone into a
toilet and dried it off. When she turned the phone back on, the complaint
alleges it malfunctioned and stopped operating.
Valesquez-Reyes contends that when she contacted Samsung, the company refused to replace or
refund the damaged phone.
Daniel Girard, attorney for the plaintiff, told Legal Newsline after the phone stopped
working his client, “contacted Samsung and her carrier personally [and] the
reason Samsung gave for not replacing or repairing her unit was that it had water-damage.”
Samsung advertises on its website that the Galaxy S7 will "repel
spills, splashes and dunks without a bulky protective case" and is "water
resistant up to 5 feet of water for up to 30 minutes; rinse residue/dry after
The complaint describes how Samsung advertises the Galaxy S7 via television
and online videos showing users snorkeling, surfing and kayaking with the
Galaxy S7 phone, as well as showing users dumping champagne on the phone, spraying it
with a water hose and dunking it in a fish tank.
The complaint alleges Samsung
was deceptive in its advertising and that it was aware the claims of the phone
being water resistant were false.
“Samsung’s website represents that
the S7 Phone is water resistant. The website includes a video showing an S7
Phone emerging from a pool of water and remaining operational. Samsung’s website
also states ‘Because water happens’ and ‘Feel free to get your phone wet,’” the
Velasquez-Reyes says Samsung’s
representations of water resistance materially influenced her choice to
purchase the Galaxy S7, and she would not have made the purchase absent
Samsung’s representations that the device was water resistant.
Girard said Samsung
did not provide his client a reason why it advertises the phone as water resistant,
but told Legal Newsline, “Water-resistance
is an advantage in a competitive market.”
Velasquez-Reyes alleges in the
complaint Samsung provided the same response to other consumers who faced the
same issue. Girard said, “We obtained this information through our
investigation,” but said he does not know how many other consumers were
Velasquez-Reyes alleges because of Samsung’s false advertising and refusal
to refund or repair her phone, she suffered monetary damages from paying for a
premium product. She is seeking class certification, trial by jury, monetary
relief, injunctive and declaratory relief, interest, attorney fees and court
Samsung did not respond to Legal
Newsline’s request for comment.