Michael Phelan and Jonathan Petty | Virginia Trial Attorneys

E-cigarette battery explosion lawsuit

A married Illinois couple filed an e-cigarette battery explosion lawsuit against two vape shops in Joliet, Illinois, claiming that e-cigarette batteries purchased at the shops caught fire in the husband’s pants pockets, causing second and third degree burns to his legs and genitals and damaging the couple’s love life.

E-cigarettes are battery powered devices that simulate cigarette smoking by producing a heated vapor. They contain a heating element to vaporize a liquid solution. These solutions include such flavors as vanilla, bubble gum, popcorn, and blueberry pancake. The power source for the heating element is a rechargeable lithium-ion battery. Unfortunately, many of these batteries are made in China and are defective. Unlike the lithium batteries used in laptops or mobile phones, e-cigarette batteries are cylindrical. They are made by rolling up alternating layers of metallic anode and cathode material separated by a porous film that holds a flammable liquid electrolyte. This rolled up core is placed into a cylindrical metal tube, which is then sealed. When this seal ruptures due to runaway thermal pressure inside the cylinder, the canister can explode like a pipe bomb and propel its flaming contents like a small rocket. CT scan images of e-cigarette batteries have show that various defects or foreign particles in the core can breach the separator or cause deflection of the electrodes and cause a short or cause the negative and positive electrodes to touch and unintentionally complete the electrical circuit.

The plaintiff in the Illinois case is a father of five who owns a trucking business. He carried a spare e-cig battery in each of his front pockets. While checking a load of lumber on his truck he felt fire in one of his pockets and then the other. Videos of spontaneous e-cigarette battery explosions caught on business surveillance cameras are all over YouTube. The problem has become so pervasive that the FDA held a public workshop on E-cigarette explosions from April 19-20, 2017 and the airline industry has banned all forms of e-cigarette devices from checked baggage.

Similar exploding e-cigarette battery lawsuits have been filed all over the country alleging that spare lithium-ion batteries exploded while being stored in a pocket or backpack. Other exploding e-cigarette battery lawsuits involve the battery exploding while in the e-cigarette device. In some of those cases, the explosion caused bad facial burns and even death. The common fact in all of these cases is that a lithium-ion battery spontaneously exploded. In many of the cases, the battery was allegedly manufactured by the MXJO company of Shenzhen, China.

Phelan Petty has filed several e-cigarette battery explosion cases for clients who suffered tragic burn injuries. If you or someone you know has been burned by an e-cigarette battery, act now because there are deadlines affecting your rights. Contact us at 804-980-7100 or 866-249-3164 (toll free) for a free, confidential consultation. You can also request a free consultation by clicking our Contact Form, which will be reviewed by one of our experienced e-cigarette products liability attorneys. Thank you for visiting our site.