SAN FRANCISCO — Samsung recently lost an appeal to move a
lawsuit from the courts to binding arbitration.
Recently, as a Phone Arena report
said, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit in San
Francisco unanimously rejected Samsung's request to move a lawsuit
filed by Daniel Norica from the courts to a binding arbitration.
Norica's lawsuit claims that the Samsung Galaxy S4 he purchased did
not live up to the performance promises made by the company,
particularly with regards to aspects like the speed and performance.
During its arguments, the global smartphone and tablet maker made
the case that the warranty material that is included with the device
consist of a binding agreement that prevents Norica, or any other
purchasers, from resolving their claims in court. Instead, per the
both parties are required to resolve the complaint through binding
The first time Samsung made this argument was in 2014, when a U.S.
district judge in California rejected the company's claims. The judge
ruled that the warranty material distributed with the Galaxy S4 does
not sufficiently alert its customers to the arbitration agreement.
Elaine Rushing, an lecturer at the University of California
Berkeley School of Law who
served on the Sonoma County Superior Court bench for nearly two
decades and is now a full-time mediator and arbitrator with JAMS,
told the Northern California Record that the 9th District
Court's ruling does not leave Samsung with many options to move
forward. She explained that the company is unlikely to be able to
convince a judge to move the case to binding arbitration at this
“Even if the customer had signed an agreement, that would not
necessarily mean that he had given up his rights for the case to be
tried in a courtroom,” she said. “There are federal rules and
rules specific to California that can override an agreement to move
to binding arbitration. You have to look at that agreement, and it
all depends on the way the contract is written.”
In a case such as this one, in which the customer did not
specifically sign a document giving up his or her rights to have the
case tried in front of a court, a judge is unlikely to grant
Samsung's request, Rushing said.
“In the United States, we have a bias towards protecting a
person's right to have a trial by jury, and the courts will be very
reluctant to undermine this,” she said. “For example, a lawyer
cannot waive the right on his or her client's behalf; someone can
only do it on their own behalf.”
This could cause additional problems for Samsung because once the
case goes to trial Norica's legal team will be able to press for
“In these kinds of cases, generally, the courts give the
plantiff's legal team access to very liberal discovery procedures,”
However, as Phone
Arena noted, Samsung in the past has been successful with taking
these kinds of cases to the Supreme Court.