A suburban Chicago couple says their sex life has been damaged by vape batteries, and they’re suing two area vape shops and battery manufacturer LG Electronics for negligence and product liability.
Suing makers and sellers of lithium batteries used for e-cigs is turning into a burgeoning market for personal injury lawyers. Aggressive law firms are recruiting vapers and promoting these suits as opportunities. We recently reported on a South Carolina man suing Sony for a battery that exploded when he carried it uncovered in a pocket with change and keys.
That’s a recipe for battery disaster. And it appears that the Plainfield, IL man did the same thing — but in this case he had two batteries as spares in his pocket. Metal objects can connect the positive and negative poles of a battery, which causes a dead short. And that’s how many, if not most, “battery explosions” occur.
Scott Schroeck and his wife Denise are suing Rockin Vape, Tobacco Zone and LG after two batteries “exploded and caught fire” in his pants pockets. According to the Chicago Tribune, Schroeck spent about a week at Loyola University Medical Center, and had second- and third-degree burns on both legs.
The couple also say that Mrs. Schroeck “lost her husband’s companionship” because of the battery incident. They’re asking for damages to compensate for “the loss of consortium, including the society, companionship and sexual relationship.”
Attorney Scott Rudin says Schroeck has $200,000 in existing medical bills, with more to come. He’ll need skin graft surgery too. The lawsuit in Cook County claims that the batteries were defective and that neither the manufacturer or the retailers that sold them offered a warning of the risk of explosion.
Schroeck’s attorney told the Tribune that his firm has filed several other suits over exploding batteries. How many vape shops will be sued into bankruptcy before all of them start providing a printout of battery safety guidelines, and insist employees explain them to each battery customer? Even better, how about investing in a rubber battery protector for each battery sold, or a plastic case for each pair?
A simple effort like that could prevent injuries, protect businesses, and force predatory lawyers to go find another easy target for litigation.