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Seattle law firm looks to file class action over Samsung Note 7 smartphones

By Jessica Karmasek | Oct 14, 2016

SEATTLE (Legal Newsline) - A Seattle law firm may soon file a class action lawsuit over Samsung’s overheating Galaxy Note 7 smartphones.

Attorneys with Keller Rohrback LLP told KOMO News, a Seattle radio station, that they likely will file the class action as early as next week.

The law firm has been investigating Samsung’s recent recall of the newly launched Note 7 for the last month.

The smartphones pose a safety risk, the firm said in a press release, reportedly catching fire and exploding while charging. Last month, an exploding Note 7 was blamed for a car fire in Port St. Lucie, Florida.

“The driver of the car was unharmed and made statements to the police that he had been charging his Samsung 7 phone when it burst into flames,” the Port St. Lucie Police Department said in a Sept. 13 Facebook post.

Keller Rohrback attorneys Cari Laufenberg and Gretchen Cappio could not immediately be reached for comment on the details of the impending lawsuit, or how many complaints the firm has received so far.

On Sept. 2, Samsung announced its plan to recall millions of its new Note 7 smartphones across 10 different countries, calling it a “global replacement program” as a result of “battery cell issues” in which users have reported phone battery fires or explosions while charging.

This week, the company announced an expanded voluntary recall on “all original and replacement” Note 7 devices sold or exchanged in the U.S.

“Since the affected devices can overheat and pose a safety risk, we are asking consumers with a Galaxy Note 7 to power it down and contact the carrier or retail outlet where they purchased their device,” Samsung wrote, adding that consumers who have a Note 7 can exchange their phone for another Samsung smartphone or receive a fund.

The tech giant has stated it has discovered a manufacturing flaw in one of the two companies responsible for production of its batteries.

In a statement last month, the Federal Aviation Administration went as far as “strongly advise” passengers not to turn on or charge the devices on board aircraft and not to stow them in any checked baggage.

Earlier this week, the FAA updated its guidance on the Note 7 phones to include recalled and replacement devices.

The Galaxy Note 7 was released in August and touted as the best new Android phone, with its larger screen, waterproof design, stylus and iris scanner for videos and photos. The starting price was $850.

Weeks after its launch, customers began reporting fires ignited by charging their batteries.

From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by email at jessica@legalnewsline.com.

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