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Lawsuit filed against Samsung alleges defect causing Galaxy S20 cameras to shatter

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Like many electronics manufacturers, Samsung isn’t a stranger to occasional production defects and issues. Samsung had the highly-publicized exploding battery issue in 2017 with its Galaxy Note 7 smartphones, for example. The latest issue, this time with Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S20 smartphone, is less explosive, although nonetheless very problematic for those who experience it. DIY Photography reports that some Galaxy S20 cameras are shattering. Specifically, the glass covering the main camera array on the back of the device breaks during normal use.

On April 27, attorneys at Hagens Berman have filed a lawsuit in the US District Court of the District of New Jersey filed a lawsuit against Samsung, alleging that Samsung has concealed a ‘widespread defect causing the rear camera glass in the Galaxy S20 smartphone to shatter unexpectedly during normal use.’ Hagens Berman accuses Samsung of fraud, breach of warranty and violations of several consumer-protection laws.

Samsung Galaxy S20 smartphone lineup

It’s unclear how widespread the issue is, but Hagens Berman alleges that the issue first appeared only four days after the Samsung Galaxy S20 went on sale in March 2020. Hagens Berman alleges further that the issue is not limited to the Galaxy S20 but has ‘plagued other previously released Samsung phone models’ and that the shattering glass leaves a ‘tell-tale ‘bullet hole’ pattern.’

Screenshot from Hagens Berman’s lawsuit against Samsung. The lawsuit can be read in its entirety here.

The lawsuit contains many customer complaints, some outlining how the alleged defect manifests itself, including a few who remark that the camera shattered seemingly out of nowhere. Another customer placed their phone on a table, and it shattered.

Customers have had some issue getting Samsung to repair the phone as well, and even with the Samsung Care device insurance plan, a camera glass repair can cost $100. Without coverage, the repair can cost customers up to $400.

An affected Galaxy smartphone, as seen in the lawsuit.

Steve Berman, managing partner of Hagens Berman, said, ‘Samsung sold its Galaxy S20 as a high-end option for consumers, with a ‘professional’ grade camera, charging upwards of $1,600 per device, only to have them suddenly lose a major aspect of their functionality. During a time of social-distancing and increased use of online access, consumers are especially in need of a reliable mobile device, yet Samsung has refused to deliver the reliability it promised its customers.’

Again, it’s unclear how prevalent this issue is among the millions of Galaxy S20 smartphones purchased by customers in the year-plus since its release. However, according to Hagens Berman, it is clear that Samsung knew about the issue and failed to issue a recall. According to the lawsuit, a Samsung Care Ambassador acknowledged the shattering camera issue and stated further that the issue is caused by pressure buildup underneath the glass and not due to the customer misusing their device.

Another affected device seen in the legal filings. Notice how the shattered glass is in a different part of the camera array compared to the above image.

The lawsuit seeks repayment for repairs and additional damages to consumers caused by ‘Samsung’s widespread design defect and warranty breaches.’ The suit also seeks compensation for affected consumers concerning a loss of value in the Galaxy S20 smartphone. If you own a Galaxy S20 and have been affected by the issue, you can fill out this form at Hagens Berman to find out your compensation rights. The affected Samsung smartphones in the lawsuit include the Samsung Galaxy S20, S20+, S20 Ultra 5G, S20+ 5G, S20 5G, S20 Ultra/LTE, S20 FE and S20 FE 5G. If you’d like to read the full legal complaint, you can do so here.


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