Suds to be you, Kenny
Judge Donald Middlebrooks of the Florida Southern US District Court this week denied a request from Plaintiff Kenneth Menzer that his class-action lawsuit against the Korean electronics giant be put on hold so he can decide whether to hop on board an identical class action being filed in Oklahoma.
Menzer was among the millions of people who purchased Samsung washing machines that were prone to violently disassembling themselves mid-cycle, causing property damage and injury in the process. He filed suit [PDF] on March 10, hoping to head up a class-action complaint, take it to a jury trial, and win a tidy payout for himself and other washing machine buyers.
Since then, however, other class-action complaints have been filed, and Menzer’s team wanted to put their case on hold while deciding whether to join up with the Oklahoma suit, which looks to wrap up sooner and bring a resolution for all owners of the recalled appliances.
Though Samsung had not opposed the motion, the Judge ruled against Menzer’s request, declaring that simply wanted to wait out another case was not a good enough reason to stop the trial, particularly when the Oklahoma case had yet to yield any sort of legally binding ruling or settlement.
The declaration means that the Florida case will continue as scheduled, and should Menzer wish to wait for the Oklahoma case he will have to drop his own complaint in the meantime.
While the decision may not appear significant on its own, the decision could prove valuable for Samsung as it would allow the company to continue to fight the smaller class actions rather than face a single, larger claim from all of the aggrieved customers.
You will have to forgive Samsung execs for not being more excited about the ruling, though. The Korean mega-corp still faces a major corruption case in its home country that includes charges CEO-in-waiting Jay Y Lee bribed associates of impeached President Park Geun-hye to approve a 2015 merger with Chell Industries.
On top of that, there is also the ongoing efforts to move on from the disastrous Note 7 recall with a new line of handsets unveiled this week. ®