PITTSBURGH – Samsung Electronics America Inc. asked the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania to dismiss a cellphone-related product liability class action lawsuit or, in the alternative, strike the complaint’s class allegations, according to a motion filed July 17.
Samsung said in its dismissal motion that its contracts require customers to participate in binding individual arbitration to resolve a dispute. The company said it filed a separate motion asking the court to order plaintiff Brittany Jones’ claims be submitted to arbitration.
“To the extent, however, that the court finds any of plaintiff’s claims not to be arbitrable, the court should hold that they fail to state a claim on which relief may be granted and dismiss the claims,” the dismissal motion said.
In its motion, Samsung said lead plaintiff Jones alleged that her Samsung Galaxy S3 smartphone “malfunctioned while charging on a bed and caused a fire.”
As a result of the fire, Jones alleged in her May 3 complaint that more than $10,000 in damage was done to her home.
In addition, Samsung said in its dismissal motion that Jones’ lawsuit is a “bare-bones pleading” and is too general.
“The complaint consists predominantly of conclusory generalities,” Samsung said. “Plaintiff pleads no facts supporting negligence, strict liability or negligent misrepresentation, only formulaic recitations of the elements of those claims.”
Additionally, Samsung said Jones or her lawyer “appear to have told the media that the property damage was to plaintiff’s mother’s home, not hers, contradicting the complaint’s allegation that ‘plaintiff suffered over $10,000 worth of damage to her home.' ... Plaintiff does not allege she suffered any other type of damage, and the types of damages she hypothesizes unnamed class members may have suffered are irrelevant and would be barred by the economic loss doctrine in any event,” the dismissal motion said.
Samsung also argued that its one-year limited warranty had run out two years before the alleged fire occurred.
In connection with the class action portion of the dismissal motion, Samsung said Jones’ complaint proposes “a classic ‘fail-safe class’ that improperly links class membership to ultimate issues of liability, requiring mini-trials just to see who is in the class.”
According to a docket entry, the arbitration request and dismissal motion were the subject of an Oct. 30 hearing. The court said in the entry that the matters were “taken under advisement.”