Noble v. Samsung Electronics America, Inc.

Topic(s): 
Arbitration
Documents:
Case Description: 

Mr. Noble purchased a Samsung Galaxy Gear S Smartwatch. Samsung marketed the Smartwatch as having a battery that would last 24 to 48 hours with typical use, but Mr. Noble discovered that the battery lasted only 4 hours. He exchanged the Smartwatch twice, but each time the battery lasted for only a fraction of the time Samsung had advertised. Mr. Noble filed a class action complaint, asserting claims based on Samsung’s misrepresentations of the Smartwatch’s battery life. Samsung moved to compel arbitration of his claims, arguing that Mr. Noble was bound by an arbitration provision hidden on the 105th page of a 143-page “Health and Safety and Warranty Guide.”

The district court denied the motion to compel, holding that Mr. Noble had no actual or constructive notice of the arbitration provision buried in the manual. Samsung appealed.  Public Citizen was co-counsel for Mr. Noble. The Third Circuit affirmed, agreeing that Mr. Noble had no reasonable notice of the provision and explaining that “[u]ltimately, the only manner in which a consumer could receive notice of the Clause at issue here would be to read ninety-seven pages into the Guide where the Clause appears, or to happen upon page ninety-seven by luck.”