JB White v. NuTek Phones
J.B. White is a senior at Sandhill High School in Sandhill, South Carolina. J.B. is the only child of Dr. Randy White. J.B. is a normal teenager who participates in
extracurricular activities and has lots of friends. About a year ago, J.B. began pursuing his/her dream of modeling. J.B. had not had any real jobs, but s/he had appeared in advertisements for a local charity event. Even though these were not paid appearances, J.B. thought the exposure would be helpful and considered it a way to give back to the community. J.B. has always had high aspirations, planning to attend the prestigious University of Sandhill School of Music and to major in vocal music. Upon graduation, J.B. hoped to teach music at a high school. J.B. seemed well on the way to success when tragedy struck.
Dr. White bought J.B. a new mobile phone. The phone was called the NuTek Lemon. The phone was designed, produced, manufactured, and sold by NuTek Phones. The phone was the latest technology in mobile phones. It was cutting edge because it was lighter than many other mobile phones, and it used a new battery that never had to be recharged. NuTek Phones promoted the phone as a way for parents to keep their teenagers safe. J.B. loved the new phone and, like many Sandhill High students, carried it everywhere. J.B. was particularly excited by the new phone because Jordan Jones had one just like it. Jordan had been J.B.'s best friend since they were toddlers. On Friday, August 18, 2006, J.B. came home from school, ate dinner, and went to take a shower before going to the bowling alley to meet some friends. Dr. White was gone for the evening. Earlier, Jordan told J.B. that s/he would call J.B. before leaving for the bowling alley. Not wanting to miss the call, J.B. took the phone to the bathroom and placed it on a shelf beside the shower. If Jordan called, J.B. wanted to be sure to hear the phone. While in the shower, J.B. heard the phone ring and answered it. As anticipated, it was Jordan calling. J.B. and Jordan talked briefly, and then something terrible happened. J.B. heard a pop and then felt a great pain in his/her right ear and on the right side of his/her face. J.B. dropped the phone in the tub, grabbed his/her head, and jumped. Dazed, J.B. sat on the bathroom floor until s/he heard Jordan. Concerned that the phone went dead, Jordan rushed next door to J.B.'s house. The front door was not locked. Jordan went in and ran to the bathroom. Upon opening the door, Jordan saw J.B. sitting on the bathroom floor wrapped in a towel, holding the right side of his/her face. The shower was still on. Jordan called 9-1-1 after seeing J.B.'s injury.
Paramedic Greenberg responded to the 9-1-1 call. Greenberg arrived at J.B.'s home within ten minutes of the call. Greenberg found J.B. sitting on the edge of the tub in a robe and holding a wash cloth to his/her face. Greenberg treated J.B. and asked what had occurred. J.B. told Greenberg that the phone had shocked him/her. Greenberg took J.B. and the phone to the hospital. At the emergency room, it was confirmed that J.B. suffered an electrical burn to the face. Worse, J.B. could not hear out of the right ear. Dr. Kerry Belk, the attending physician, predicted that J.B.'s hearing might never improve. Dr. Belk also recommended plastic surgery. Dr. Belk treated J.B.'s burn. J.B. was then released.
J.B. does not recall a warning label on the phone. The phone is missing. The instruction manual and box in which the phone was packaged were inadvertently destroyed long before the accident. J.B. thought that it would be safe to use the phone in the shower because s/he had used it in the rain before. J.B. claims that s/he has been robbed of a career in music because of the loss of hearing in the right ear. J.B. fears any modeling career is now gone after undergoing two plastic surgeries. J.B. is taking medications for depression. Now, J.B. wants to be compensated for loss of potential income.