Business & Real Estate

Folsom attorney files first lawsuit over other Samsung cellphones

Gene Stonebarger holds a charred Samsung S6 smartphone on Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2016, at his Folsom office. Brandon Covert of Jackson said the device exploded Aug. 2 in the middle of the night while charging.
Gene Stonebarger holds a charred Samsung S6 smartphone on Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2016, at his Folsom office. Brandon Covert of Jackson said the device exploded Aug. 2 in the middle of the night while charging. rchang@sacbee.com

A Folsom attorney announced Wednesday he had filed a lawsuit seeking class-action status against electronics giant Samsung, alleging that some of its cellphones carry a risk of fire and explosion.

The phones identified in the lawsuit were the Samsung S6, S7 and Note 5, which were not part of the company’s widely publicized recall of the Galaxy Note 7. The lawsuit will cover California consumers who purchased the devices during the past four years.

“Consumers should not have to live in fear that they are walking around with a ticking time bomb in their pocket,” lawyer Gene Stonebarger said at a news conference at his Folsom office.

Stonebarger held a charred S6 phone that had its lithium-ion battery badly damaged. The device belonged to his client, Brandon Covert of Jackson. According to Stonebarger, the device exploded Aug. 2 in the middle of the night while placed on a nightstand and plugged into an electric socket.

Samsung spokeswoman Danielle Cohen said the company does not comment on pending litigation but noted that the issues with the Galaxy Note 7 are “isolated to only that model.”

Stonebarger said this was the first class-action lawsuit in the nation for Samsung devices aside from the Note 7. The attorney noted that Samsung was still continuing to sell the named models and issuing them to consumers of the Note 7 recall.

“At the very least, Samsung should recall these phones,” Stonebarger said.

Richard Chang: 916-321-1018, @RichardYChang

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