PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. -- A Boca Raton-based attorney has filed the first lawsuit against Samsung in Palm Beach County after the phone caught fire and injured his client.
Attorney Keith Pierro is representing 28-year-old Jonathan Strobel.
Pierro says Strobel’s Samsung Galaxy Note 7 caught fire in his front pocket a week ago while he was at Costco in Palm Beach Gardens.
The fire caused deep second degree burns to his thigh, and first degree burns on his fingers after trying to grab the phone from his pocket.
“It burned right through his pants, his undergarments, burned his entire leg,” Pierro said. In the complaint, Pierro states “Strobel was unable to remove the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 from his pants quickly enough, leaving [Strobel] in shock and extreme pain due to his injuries.
The phone was charred and destroyed as a result of the explosion.
Pierro is filing a personal injury lawsuit again Samsung Electronics America and Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., to help pay for Strobel’s medical bills, future treatments and lost wages.
Strobel only had the phone for 20 days. Pierro says Samsung should have never sold him the phone knowing there was a safety risk with the batteries.
Pierro also says Samsung should have been faster to issue a mandatory recall, not just a voluntary recall of the phone.
“My client got an email ten hours afterwards of this incident that evening telling him to power down the note 7 and to exchange it. Unfortunately for my client, the recall was too late,” Pierro said.
The Samsung phones are also being tied to another fire in Port St. Lucie.
A Samsung phone of a similar model is being blamed for causing a car fire when the phone began burning in a car.
“I don’t believe that there was enough information out there. Really that’s part of the problem,” said Pierro.
He hopes to bring more attention to the severity of the defect, and wants people to know others have been injured and that the phone should have been recalled sooner.