Washington Woman Files Lawsuit Over E-Cigarette Explosion and Burn Injuries
Hollywood producer Anthony Scott Rhulen has filed a product liability lawsuit against LG after his e-cigarette battery spontaneously combusted on a flight and severely burned his leg. According to a news report in the Daily Mail, Rhulen, who has produced movies such as “Lucky Number Slevin,” was on a Spirit Air flight June 14 from Denver to Los Angeles when the incident occurred. Court papers state Rhulen purchased the lithium-ion battery as a backup for his e-cigarette and that it was not even powering the device at the time.
A “Frightening Experience”
Rhulen said the LG lithium-ion battery was sitting in a backpack stored in the seat in front of him when it spontaneously caught fire and burned his leg. In addition to causing him physical injury, Rhulen says the spectacle of the explosion and fire caused fellow passengers to fear he was a terrorist. It was a “frightening experience” for Rhulen to be viewed with suspicion immediately after the incident occurred, his attorney said. He has filed the lawsuit against LG in a New Jersey court. He has said he is being treated for respiratory and vision problems after the fire. The lawsuit alleges that LG continues to market and sell the battery without warning consumers and downplaying the risks.
Explosions and fires involving lithium-ion e-cigarette batteries have become a growing concern nationwide. Burn center doctors around the country are reporting that they are seeing more and more of these cases. Earlier this month, a 14-year-old girl was injured at a Harry Potter theme park ride in Orlando when an e-cigarette being used by another person exploded in her face. Officials with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) say that these are by no means isolated incidents.
Between 2009 and January 2016, federal officials said there were 134 reported incidents of e-cigs overheating, catching fire or exploding. Of those, 56 happened in 2015 and 10 were reported in January. FDA officials say that even these figures are “an underestimate of actual events.” Defective lithium-ion batteries have also been blamed for the recall of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7, which has also been spontaneously combusting.
Compensation for Injured Victims
If you or a loved one has been injured as the result of a malfunctioning e-cigarette or battery, please remember that you have legal rights. You may be able to receive compensation for damages including medical expenses, lost income, cost of treatments, permanent injuries such as scarring or disfigurement and past and future pain and suffering. Contact an experienced California personal injury lawyer who is handling similar cases to better understand your legal rights and options.