Vape shops sued after loose batteries explode in man’s pockets

Will vape shops take action to prevent becoming targets of predatory lawyers?


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.

They’re asking for damages to compensate for "the loss of consortium, including the society, companionship and sexual relationship."

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.

Jim McDonald
I spend most of my time studying the regulatory, legislative and scientific challenges to vaping, advocating for our right to exist, and talking with others who do the same. Consider me a source for information, and feel free to agree or disagree with anything I say. I love good coffee and sweet Michigan cherries. My childhood hero was Gordie Howe.

    Great topic and article. Batteries should have big ACHTUNG on every piece, saying about disaster and how to avoid it.
    They have this stupid text instead.


      Btw, are those real or fakes? 😀

      • Jim McDonald

        Not sure, but I’m not an expert. However, those appear to be protected cells, which should not be used with any regulated vape mod.

        • cohones1974

          These probably are LG HG batteries. They are commonly used in mods :

        • VAPE KLUB

          Unfortunately, all new LG HG2 that coming to Europe have this text on them. 🙁

    • Actually from what I can tell all 18650 batteries are made to be sold to device manufacturers for making battery packs. They are not to be sold directly to consumers. In a battery pack they basically can’t be put in wrong, and usually they charge inside of a device. When these batteries are free to roam around problems can happen (which is why you should just get a plastic case). When I ordered my first batteries from an online retailer I read the fine print and it even said that these are not to be used for vaping (legal protective text).

  • cohones1974

    same old, same old… Logic has taken some beating for some decades now. It started from the U.S. and it conquered the world…

    • John Vezirian

      LMAO…… Wait.. Didn’t the first lawyers come from Europe? They were already doing their work for folks like this guy, before America was even colonized.I do not remember the Indians (native Americans having lawyers).Wasn’t one of the first cases the guy who rode his hores backwards, hit his head on a branch, and sued the origional horse owner, for not instructing him which way to face when riding a horse?

      • cohones1974

        I should of have clarified… The beating of common sense and logic is what the modern U.S. gave all the world… I mean the ridiculous instructions on common used items were born in modern USA and their citizens (i.e. contents of plastic cup may be hot, inscription on side mirrors “items are larger than in the mirror” etc). If you try to go to court anywhere in the world, because you ordered a hot coffee and you burned your fingers handling the plastic cup, the judge and jury may put you in jail for failing in common sense…

  • WeAreAllMadHere

    Just abandon any shred of sense or personal responsibility.
    How incurious have people truly become?
    When I moved from vape pens to box mods, I got an app for ohms law and read up on silly little things like resistance, voltage, power etc. Then researched batteries. I have not found it possible to read about any Li-Ion battery that did not have warnings listed in the description.

    I really hope this suit does not go anywhere. If it does, it will be more ammunition for the anti-vaping crowd.

    • John Vezirian

      Can we get an Amen here!!!!!!!

  • John Vezirian

    OMG it is the McDonalds case for the vaping world… God when will people just be responsible for their own stupidity

    • Alicia Eisenschmid

      I hate people like you. Do you even understand why that lady sued McDonald’s? I suggest you go read at least the wiki on it. This is nothing like that

      • John Vezirian

        Yes I know why she sued… She put hot coffee in her lap, then got burned, come on, really, people have to really be told of shit like that have to put a warning on everything. Lets be real, the guy was a vaper, he should know something about batteries and electricity, even I know th basics, you do not put batteries in you pocket with conductive materials, any idiot knows that, there is always the chance of something happening if other metal objects are in play. I carry spares, but I carry in a plastic case, hell many time they come with the batteries. Thsi is everything like that and other cases where people sue because of their lack of common sense.

      • Robert Fairrington

        yeah I was like him for a long time…. the media did well spinning that McDonalds story but the true story is much worse than people think.

        • Taz

          LOL “much worse”? Seriously? You have pity for her? She shouldn’t have got a dime. In fact, she should’ve had to pay McDonalds for their legal costs defending her bull$#!+ lawsuit. See above for the reasons why.

          • Robert Fairrington

            I HATE the culture of frivolous lawsuits in the US, but this is why my opinion on this incident differs from you…. The lady in question was 79, so her quickly removing her pants to get the coffee off her skin wasn’t going to happen. A scholar in thermodynamics applied to human skin burns, testified that liquids, at 180 degrees, will cause a full thickness burn to human skin in two to seven seconds. Other testimony showed that as the temperature decreases toward 155 degrees, the extent of the burn relative to that temperature decreases exponentially. Thus, if Liebeck’s spill had involved coffee at 155 degrees (standard maximum in restaurant industry btw), the liquid would have cooled and given her time to avoid a serious burn. After being in the hospital for 8 days having 3rd degree burns to 6% of her body, her legal team requested McDonalds pay $20K for hospital bills, which they refused so they went to court. During the Discovery portion of trial, it was learned that they were 700 other cases of coffee burns, showing that McDonalds was aware of the potential for injury and still served coffee between 180 – 190 degrees, whereas other establishments and at home coffee is served under 140 degrees. McDonalds own quality assurance manager said “burn hazard exists with any food substance served at 140 degrees or above, and that McDonalds coffee, at the temperature at which it was poured into styrofoam cups, was not fit for consumption because it would burn the mouth and throat. The quality assurance manager admitted that burns would occur, but testified that McDonalds had no intention of reducing the “holding temperature” of its coffee” So yes, I do pity her because an old lady burned her poor old vagina because McD’s served their coffee at temperatures WAY to hot for consumption. Yeah, we know coffee is hot, but hot enough to seriously hurt me? I don’t think it’s a BS lawsuit in that situation.

          • Taz

            LOL!!!!! Know what you get when you brew coffee at 140 degrees? Weak, bitter, and tastes somewhere between old pi$$ and battery acid. Your home coffee is ABSOLUTELY NOT brewed at anywhere near that temperature. it comes out of the coffeemaker at anywhere between 195 and 201 degrees. It HAS to. And those “700 other cases” were over an 11 year span. So considering the 2.5 MILLION cups of coffee McDonalds serves EVERY SINGLE DAY, 700 morons out of 11 BILLION cups (0.0000063%), truly indicates that the CUSTOMER is defective, not the coffee.

          • Cosmia

            Shut up taz. There’s no need to be such an ass, especially when you are so in the wrong.

          • Taz

            Go fuсk yourself, you retarded snowflake. I am not wrong, I cited nothing but fact. Look it up. Every single day, McDonalds serves 2.5 MILLION cups of coffee. Every 6 days, ONE MORON burns themselves on it. That’s ONE out of FIFTEEN MILLION every 6 days. And you think it’s the coffee’s fault?? No, it’s the nimrods who aren’t smarter than the cup. Those other 14,999,999 people know that coffee is hot.

          • The jury awarded the money. It appears that the lawyers were only seeking to have medical bills paid. I do see the point somewhat of implied risks, and I dislike frivolous lawsuits, but I also have a hard time feeling bad for McDonald’s whatsoever.

      • Cookie

        This is exactly like that a careless action resulting in injury . Take responsibility for your own actions stop looking to blame others when it is your stupidity that has caused the issue. Had the woman not tried to hold the coffee between her legs she would not have spilt it on her lap.

        • Taz

          It’s not even that. I’ve held coffee between my legs before. Never spilled a drop. She managed to dump the ENTIRE CUP in her lap, THEN SHE SAT THERE SCREAMING AND LETTING IT BURN INSTEAD OF GETTING OUT AND PULLING THE SWEATPANTS AWAY FROM HER SKIN!!!

      • Taz

        Yeah she sued because SHE WAS A STUPID F*&KING IDIOT. Coffee is HOT. Everybody knows this (well before they actually printed a warning on the cups), and we don’t dump it in our laps – and if we do, we accept that we did something stupid and move the f*&k on. Do you know how hot the coffee in question was? 180 degrees. Do you know what the ideal brew temperature of coffee is? 195-201 degrees. Do you know what the temperature of the coffee coming out of the machine on your kitchen counter is? That’s right, 195-201 degrees. If it is brewed with lower temperature water, the coffee is bitter and nasty. Ohhhhh wait, you must be one of those millenials who thinks a latte or double mocha frappuccino is “coffee”. A$$hole.

      • theGOONIES

        And the rest of the world wants to slap people like you

      • Yeah you can’t expect anyone in this thread to actually read anything though. It’s pretty sad. DUUUH MUHLENIALZZZZ R SNOWFLAAAAAAKES RAWR. That’s the way they communicate.

  • theGOONIES

    Most vape shops will give away the little plastic battery holders. This moron deserves nothing