Are the Samsung Note7 recalls a precursor to public liability claims?

Date: Jan 20, 2017

Companies, whether they offer goods or services to their customers and clients, have duty of service to keep people safe. If this is breached, and their actions – or inactions – lead to personal injury or worse, they could become the subject of public liability claims.

In 2015, claims of hoverboards causing injuries and damaging households dominated news headlines in the lead up to Christmas. This year, that dubious honour went to Samsung’s Galaxy Note7 smartphone, a device that quickly became infamous for exploding at inopportune moments. It was swiftly banned by airlines and was swiftly recalled by the manufacturer, but what else has happened in the wake of these events?

Samsung phones create personal and professional risks

Last year, Samsung began recalling all of the Note7 devices it had produced after an irreparable fault caused them to combust on a number of different occasions. Even the replacement devices for customers who suffered through a fire in their original version exhibited the same fault.

The devices were banned completely on international and domestic airlines the world over, thankfully before any major incidents occurred. However, a media release from SafeWork NSW noted this global recall now presents a whole host of other dangers. Instead of individual customers dealing with these devices, they’re now the responsibility of shipping companies who will be transporting large quantities of the faulty devices at a time.

SafeWork NSW stated that these devices are now considered to be “defective lithium ion batteries” from a shipping and transport perspective, meaning they are now Class 9 dangerous goods. There are significant fines and other penalties for transport companies that fail to comply with dangerous goods regulation, especially if these errors put the public in danger.

According to SafeWork NSW, there are also extremely strict packaging requirements due to the product’s classification. It’s  important to note that these devices can no longer be transported by air in any capacity, as even depowering the devices can’t guarantee complete safety.

A Guardian review of a number of cases where the Note7 have caused significant damage to people’s homes unfortunately revealed that many people are still struggling to get fair compensation out of Samsung. This is despite the phones causing major damage to their homes and property.

If you’ve been injured due to a company’s actions or inaction, it’s important to seek advice from specialist compensation lawyers. Contact the team at Gerard Malouf and Partners for a free consultation.

Call us now on 1800 004 878 to book a free appointment with one of my compensation experts, or email your enquiry.