A proposed class action claims a defect in Samsung’s Galaxy Buds Pro headphones can cause allergic and inflammatory reactions in wearers’ ears, rendering the earbuds unfit for their intended purpose.
According to the 26-page case out of New Jersey, the alleged defect causes users of the Galaxy Buds Pro to experience “itching, burning, redness, blistering, flaking, scabbing and/or fluid leaking from the ear” soon after they begin wearing the headphones. The only way to resolve the problems with the earbuds is for those experiencing symptoms to stop using the product, which “render[s] them useless,” the lawsuit alleges.
The case argues that Samsung has known about the alleged defect in the Galaxy Buds Pro headphones, which are sold for $50 more than the Galaxy Buds+ and $30 more than the Galaxy Buds Live, almost as soon as the company began selling the devices in January 2021 yet has failed to warn buyers that the product can cause an allergic reaction. Instead, consumers relied on Samsung’s representations that the Galaxy Buds Pro were a “top-of-the-line product” and safe to wear in the ear “when they are not,” the suit says.
“Samsung’s marketing techniques are false and misleading in that a reasonable consumer would believe that the Earbuds were of premium quality, are capable of being used as intended and would not result in health risks under ordinary use,” the complaint reads. “But in reality, the Defect renders the Earbuds unsafe and useless, and result [sic] in significant health issues.”
The lawsuit claims consumers have paid “more than they would otherwise pay” for the Galaxy Buds Pro due to Samsung’s allegedly deceptive advertising scheme.
According to the suit, Samsung began selling its Galaxy Buds Pro earbuds in January 2021 after conducting extensive product testing on the newest version of its popular headphones. The case claims the company’s testing, as well as consumer complaints that began rolling in within the same month that the headphones were released, should have alerted Samsung to the apparent defect in the Galaxy Buds Pro. Per the case, though the Internet is now “replete with consumers complaining about the Defect,” Samsung has failed to address the problem “in any way.”
The lawsuit claims the allergic reactions allegedly caused by the earbuds stem from a defect in the product’s material, workmanship or manufacturing and have put consumers’ health “at serious risk.” Nevertheless, the suit says, Samsung has responded to complaints of the problem by either “unconscionably limiting” its one-year warranty to not cover the defect or replacing the earbuds with another pair “that contain[s] the exact same Defect.”
As a result, the case alleges, consumers must choose between continuing to experience the negative side effects associated with using the Galaxy Buds Pro or stopping use of the product well before the end of its expected useful life.
“Either scenario is contrary to a reasonable consumer’s expectations and frustrates the consumer’s entire purpose in purchasing the Earbuds with the expectation it would be a ‘durable good’ with a long useful life,” the complaint scathes.
The case adds that although Samsung has urged customers who complained to purchase aftermarket foam tips for their earbuds, the new tips do little to alleviate their symptoms and they are ultimately forced to stop using both the earbuds and the tips.
According to the suit, consumers have paid hundreds of dollars for what they reasonably expected to be functioning in-ear headphones “only to be saddled with substandard devices that fail to perform the basic functions that consumers were promised.”
The lawsuit looks to cover anyone in the U.S. who purchased one or more of the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro devices, with a proposed subclass of those who did so in New Jersey.
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