Samsung has recently made a decision to recall every single one of the Galaxy Note 7 smartphones it has sold. According to initial reports, that could be up to one million of the 2.5 million phones that were manufactured. So why is the company recalling the phones? Because they are overheating and in some cases, exploding.
Samsung Recalling Galaxy Note 7 Smartphones
After 35 reported incidents of the Galaxy Note 7 smartphones exploding, Samsung has decided to recall all of the phones that have been purchased. All sales and shipments have been stopped. The company is working closely with government agencies as well as cellular carriers around the world to provide refunds and exchanges for the phone.
As a Samsung rep explained, the explosions are the result of a “very rare manufacturing process error.”
The recall will cost the company approximately $3 billion in the fourth quarter of this year through the first quarter of 2017, and raise the total costs from the recall to at least $5.3 billion. But they may face even more damages as the result of personal injury cases that could be brought as a result of the exploding phones. Samsung received 13 reports of burns and 47 reports of property damage associated with the Note 7s.
Samsung said via a statement that “the company will focus on enhancing product safety for consumers by making significant changes in its quality assurance processes.
Damages in Personal Injury Cases
There are two main kinds of damages that can be sought in personal injury cases: compensatory and punitive.
“Compensatory” means something that will compensate for the loss that occurs in a personal injury case. Typically, money is the compensation that a family or person receives. Compensatory damages means you may be eligible to receive money to compensate for:
- Property damage
- Loss of enjoyment of life due to injury (or death of family member)
- Current and future medical bills to treat injuries or sustain life
- Current and future lost wages or lost earning potential due to time spent healing from injuries
- Current and future pain and suffering or emotional distress from injuries or loss of life
Punitive damages are used to punish the at-fault party for negligence or illegal activity that resulted in harm to someone else. The thought behind punitive damages is that if a company or someone has to pay a large sum of money, they might reconsider being involved in such reckless behavior again. The negligent party can also face criminal prosecution.
As with any lawsuit, you’ll want to understand the process. The best way to know how to proceed in a wrongful death lawsuit is to work with a personal injury attorney.
There are various factors that will determine a burn injury settlement, including: the severity of the burn injury and the extent to which a defendant can pay a settlement, and the way the burn happened.
There are various ways a burn injury can occur, including ****workplace injuries, arson, intentional burning, negligence, and faulty consumer products, such as the battery in the Hoverboards that are being recalled.
Additionally, the compensation for burn injuries will be based on the physical as well as emotional pain that the burn caused and will cause in the future. Because of the nature of burns, there is a great likelihood for them to cause emotional pain and suffering, as well as disfigurement and emotional reactions as a result. Damages will be awarded accordingly. For example, a person that has suffered a bad burn on their face will receive a larger damage award than someone that has suffered a scar down his or her back.
Two Forms of Wrongful Death Claim
In addition to the types of damages you can seek, if a family member was killed as the result of a burn injury, you are able to seek wrongful death charges. There are two forms a wrongful death claim can take: negligence, or intention. This means either the victim died as the result of a negligent act of the defendant. Or the victim died as the result of the defendant’s intentions to kill the victim. Some examples of negligence include: victim’s death as a result of medical malpractice or the victim dies as the result of a faulty engine in the car the victim was riding in. And example of intention is when the defendant is believed to have murdered the victim on purpose.
Proving a Wrongful Death Claim
For the defendant to be declared liable in a wrongful death claim, the claim brought must meet the same burden of proof that the victim would have had to meet if the victim was alive. In the case of a negligence trial, plaintiffs must show the defendant owed a duty of care to the victim, that the defendant breached this duty of care, and that the breach of this duty directly caused the death of the victim.
Bringing a Wrongful Death Claim
Often the deceased person’s surviving relatives, dependents or beneficiaries bring the wrongful death suit against the responsible party or parties, seeking monetary damages for their loss. Often times the jurisdiction determines the individuals who are able to bring the claim. Generally, the primary beneficiaries (often the spouse and children, or the parents) are able to bring a claim. While in some states parents of the deceased person may be also designated as beneficiaries. But, in most states, if the deceased person did not leave behind a husband or wife, any children or parents, there may be no one who will be able to bring a wrongful death claim.
In order to legally recover damages in a wrongful death action, there are some general requirements that must be met. They are as follows: (1) The death must have been caused by another’s negligence, i.e., it must be showed that the negligent person was at fault for the death; (2) if the deceased was alive, he or she would have been entitled to recover damages from the at fault party; and (3) the party or beneficiaries must meet the legal requirements to be allowed recovery of damages in the Wrongful Death action.
Wrongful death laws vary from state to state
Not every state follows the same guidelines, principles, or rules. And each state has its own set laws regarding wrongful death. A personal injury attorney can help advise you on if your wrongful death claim is valid and can help you are you pursue a claim against the responsible party or parties.
“True” versus “Survival Actions”
Some states have “true” wrongful death acts. This is when the deceased person’s survivors or next of kin are able to bring a cause of action for their damages inflicted as a result of their family member’s death. Other states have acts called “survival actions.” This form of lawsuit is brought by the survivors on behalf of the deceased person. This cause of action is for the deceased person’s pain and suffering that resulted from the injuries that caused his or her death.
In many jurisdictions, when the defendant’s negligence contributes only in part or in tandem with other circumstances to a person’s death, and not just the sole cause, liability may still be attached to the defendant.