Woman Says Cellphone Caused Second-Degree Burns To Back


UPDATED: Wednesday August 28, 2013 6:16 PM

The Samsung Galaxy S4 is the company’s newest and hottest phone. And it is hot.

There are many reports that the phone overheats.

A Columbus woman said that her phone recently caused second-degree burns to her back.

“There’s an issue,” said Sidney Walters. “And it’s a safety issue, as far as I’m concerned.”

Walters said something terrible happened when she fell asleep on her new Galaxy Samsung S4.

“Literally 3:38 a.m., I wake up to a burning sensation on the right side of my back,” she said. “I got up and realized I was lying on the phone.”

Walters, a registered nurse, realized quickly that she had received second-degree burns.

She took photos of what appears to be an outline of the phone on her skin.

She said she filed a complaint with the Consumer Product Safety Commission and AT&T Wireless from whom she bought the phone.

“And they said that they had not received any complaints, and I’m like, ‘You’ve got to be kidding.’ I mean, this is not, can’t be. I can’t be the only person with a burn, you know.”

A Google search turns up hundreds of complaints that the Galaxy phones overheat.

Some claim that their phones have even caught fire.

“When you talk on it, the earpiece gets hot. I think it’s the battery,” Walters said. “I think it’s the battery. The battery gets too hot is what I think is going on because it gets hot back there.”

To see how hot the phone gets, Consumer 10 tested Walters’ phone with a laser thermometer. It was 84 degrees. Consumer 10 placed a call and then checked it again – 93 degrees.

Finally, she attached the phone to the charger and the temperature shot up 10 degrees to 102 and 103.

“I think people need to be aware of how hot it gets,” she said. “I think there are a lot of kids, teenagers that will text all night long until they fall asleep. And it could end up worse than just some burns on the back. I think it could end up in a fire that could potentially cost a life.”

As a comparison, Consumer 10 tested a Droid phone. It was a steady 75 degrees.

Consumer 10 reached out to Samsung, which issued the following statement.

“This is the first we have heard of this incident and that we will contact AT&T for more information and will cooperate in their investigation of the matter.”

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