Product Liability & Toxics Law News

Samsung Class Action Over Scant 3D TV Parts Proceeds

Jan. 11, 2019, 6:21 PM

Samsung Electronics America Inc. faces a revived proposed class action alleging its 3D televisions display a colored line that can’t be fixed.

Would-be class representative Alexis Bronson may add another named plaintiff and re-plead his claims under California consumer-protection statutes, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California said Jan. 10.

The case presents only the second time courts have considered a repair-parts provision of California’s Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act, the court said.

The provision says product makers that give an express warranty need to make functional parts available to service and repair facilities for seven years, regardless of the length of the warranty.

Bronson bought a Samsung 51-inch plasma Smart 3D HDTV television in August 2013, according to the court. It began to display colored lines on the screen, and Bronson had it fixed under warranty. But the lines allegedly returned and he concluded, by 2016, that Samsung had stopped making parts available.

The district court dismissed the claims in November 2018. The Song-Beverly claim failed because the complaint “implausibly presumed television parts were unavailable merely because the manufacturer stopped making them,” the court said.

But Bronson seeks to add an allegation that an authorized service center confirmed in October 2018 that the part was unavailable. That’s sufficient, the court said.

A consumer-protection claim that’s derivative of the alleged Song-Beverly violation may be re-pleaded as well, the court said.

Paul Rothstein and the Law Office of of Alan J. Sherwood represent Bronson.

Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP represents Samsung and parent company Samsung Electronics Co.

The case is Bronson v. Samsung Elecs. Am., Inc., 2019 BL 9442, N.D. Cal., No. C 18-2300 WHA, 1/10/19.

To contact the reporter on this story: Martina Barash in Washington at mbarash@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Jo-el J. Meyer at jmeyer@bloomberglaw.com; Steven Patrick at spatrick@bloomberglaw.com

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