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Exploding Phone? Samsung’s Fine Print Could Prevent Lawsuits

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NEW YORK (CBS NEWS) – Last September, 19-year-old Michael Taylor came home after a long day on his parents’ farm, plugged in his phone and went to sleep.

When he woke up, he saw “a flame about two to three feet long, shooting from the phone.”

His Samsung Galaxy Note 7 had exploded — leaving him with severe burns on his legs.

“I have never had a pain that strong in my life. I’ve literally taken a pitchfork through my foot and it doesn’t even compare to that,” Taylor said.

Samsung apologized in the aftermath of stories like Taylor’s, recalling all Note 7 phones, offering exchanges and promising their consumers complete transparency.

But when Taylor decided to sue Samsung for damages, he confronted an obstacle Samsung had buried.

Inside the box, under the phone, inside another box, on the last few pages of the warranty guide, is a clause requiring “all disputes with Samsung” be resolved through “final and binding arbitration, and not by a court or jury.”  A consumer has 30 days to “opt out” – or else he or she cannot sue.

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