Last updated on Oct 5, 2016
By Nicole Curcio
With 1 million Samsung Galaxy Note 7s sold nationwide since the model release, only 130,000 have been returned following the recent recall on Sept. 15—due to the device catching fire in a man’s front pocket.
On Sept. 9, Florida construction worker Jonathon Strobel, 28, said that he was severely burned on his leg and thumb when his Samsung phone burst into flames while he was shopping at Costco.
Samsung spokeswoman, Danielle Meister Cohen, urged owners to power down and return their phones as soon as possible. However, no further information could be obtained. “We don’t comment on pending litigation,” Cohen said in an email.
As of Sept. 13, “Samsung has received 92 reports of batteries overheating in the United States, including 26 reports of burns and 55 reports of property damage,” U.S. safety regulators said. An official recall by the U.S. Safety Commission was filed a week after Strobel’s incident.
Because of the recent news reports about potential injury from the phones, the Office of Campus Life sent an email to all students on Sept. 19 with Director Michael Berthel’s virtual signature at the bottom. The precautionary email included a small explanation of the overheating and fire catching as well as information on returning the phone.
In a bolded, italicized statement, the email advised, “If you have a recalled device, we ask that you do not bring it onto campus or keep it in a residence hall.” There has not been any mention nor information reported of any incident on campus.
Melissa Norman, a resident junior dance major, is the only one in her group of friends with a Galaxy 7. Though she does not have the exact model that is being recalled, she is still fearful. “It’s gotten really hot before but not too often, usually only during software updates,” she said.
Reports indicate that Samsung has been very fair about refunding the device. Consumer Wendi Briones shared her experience on Facebook, praising the employees at her local Samsung store. In her post she included Samsung’s hashtag and pictures of her exploded phone. “They refunded my money in full,” she wrote. “In spite of the unfortunate incident, I am however, impressed by their after sales-support. Much respect to Samsung,” she added.
So far, only Strobel’s lawsuit has been filed to cover expenses from severe injuries, medical bills, and work compensation, according to the lawsuit filed in Florida Circuit Court, 15th District, Palm Beach County. However, 85 percent of Note 7 models that have been sold have yet to be returned.