NH1 News Investigates: Dangerous Cell Phone Protectors
CONCORD - “Even if you have doubts, don’t buy them because you don’t know what’s inside,” Manchester resident Jillian Guillemette said.
A warning for you from a woman who says this cell phone case full of liquid, stars and sparkles is dangerous. Jillian Guillemette said she was sitting in a hair salon when she dropped her phone. When she picked it up, she put in in her lap not yet realizing that the case was cracked and leaking.
"To keep it safe, I set it right between my legs and a couple of minutes later it started to burn," Guillemette said. "I’m five seconds away from taking my pants off in this salon because I knew something was wrong. I [then] pull my pants off and all I can smell is lighter fluid."
Guillemette also noticed burns on both thighs, "It felt like my skin was sensitive, like it was on fire!" she said. "Now the skin on my legs is completely dead in that area."
Guillemette went back to the Cellairis kiosk at the Mall of New Hampshire to find out what’s inside these cases, because they sold it to her without any of the packaging—which she expected would have a warning on it.
She couldn’t get any answers, so she called NH1.
NH1's Celine McArthur bought the same case from the same kiosk. They refused to give her the packaging, claiming that they remove the cases from the boxes because it’s the only way they fit into the display. The boxes are immediately tossed in the trash.
The employee also couldn’t tell Celine what’s in the liquid. She called Cellairis headquarters and she's waiting for a response.
“There’s just no information that would give a warning to somebody, guidance to a purchaser or any kind of instruction about any potential harm,” Concord attorney Jim Steiner said. “If someone fell asleep with their cell phone next to them—as so many children do—and the device broke because they rolled on it, and they didn’t realize until the chemical burns had become second or third- degree burns, this could be a serious injury.”
Steiner says this is a significant consumer protection issue.
“There are two immediate legal theories that come to mind," Steiner said. "The first is that this is a product defect. The second is that it’s a Consumer Protection Act complaint.”
If you’ve had an issue with these cases, Celine McArthur would like to hear from you. Email her or send her a message on Twitter or Facebook and stay tuned to NH1 News for the latest on this investigation.