Samsung has been facing accusations of misleading marketing for the Galaxy S7 not only in Australia but also in the US where the company has recently asked a New Jersey court to dismiss a proposed class action suit that was filed by a Galaxy S7 owner earlier this year. The company argues that the plaintiff had failed to meet the criteria needed for a class action lawsuit and that the suit falls outside the New Jersey federal court’s jurisdiction.
Let’s rewind back to Q1 2016 for a moment and paint a clearer backdrop for this new legal dispute. The Galaxy S7 series has just been unveiled and Samsung is highlighting the phone’s IP68 dust and water resistance rating left and right. TV ads featuring Lil Wayne pouring champagne on a Galaxy S7 or dunking the phone in a fishtank make the rounds and everyone is talking about the new flagship phone’s impressive characteristics.
In reality, it turned out that the Galaxy S7 was not quite as waterproof as the company’s ads may have made you believe. The fineprint stated that the IP rating does not cover salt water and that the phone is not suited for use inside a pool. Later in 2016, a California woman going by the name of Dulce Alondra Velasquez-Reyes found out about the Galaxy S7’s weakness the hard way when her phone got permanent water damage after it took an accidental dive into the toilet. The disgruntled Galaxy S7 owner responded by filing a complaint with the Central District of California, seeking monetary compensation and arguing that Samsung should cease marketing the Galaxy S7 as being waterproof.
It’s 2020 and Samsung wants to put an end to these disputes
Fast forwarding to 2020, the complaint filed by Dulce Alondra Velasquez-Reyes in 2016 was dismissed in July 2020. However, another similar suit was filed back in May 2020 by a New Jersey resident, Jill Clark, who claimed to have purchased the Galaxy S7 from Best Buy in December 2017 on account of its water resistance. Clark’s phone was also damaged after it’s been exposed to water and a class suit was filed under the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act.
According to The Register, Samsung has now forwarded a motion to dismiss the class suit because, in sum, [Clark] has entirely failed to allege facts supporting her legal contention that [Class Action Fairness Act] applies. Samsung argues that the plaintiff does not allege how much she paid for her Galaxy S7 or how much she can show in damages, nor does she plead any facts regarding the number of putative members of the New Jersey Class or the quantum of damages those putative class members are alleged to have suffered.
Time will tell how the story develops further and whether the New Jersey court will take the plaintiff’s side or dismiss the case. Until more details emerge, take a look at the classic Galaxy S7 ad below starring Lil Wayne and share your thoughts in the comment section. Do you think the company went overboard with its ads and focused too much on painting the Galaxy S7 as a waterproof / highly water resistant device, perhaps to the point where it became disingenuous? Or do you think Samsung gave customers enough information?
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