Customer alleges e-cigarette's battery exploded

By Noddy A. Fernandez | Dec 6, 2018

CLEARWATER — A Seminole County woman is suing makers of e-cigarettes, alleging breach of implied warranty and strict liability.

Emily Dehaan filed a complaint Sept. 27 in Pinellas County Circuit Court against Tobacco Road Stores of Largo Inc., doing business as Royal Vapor Lounge International Vapor Group Inc., and LG Chem LTD, alleging the defendants placed an e-cigarette product with lithium batteries that were not designed for use in vaping applications, causing the battery to unexpectedly explode.

According to the complaint, on Jan. 8, Dehaan was sitting on a Pinellas County public bus traveling north when the 18650 lithium battery in her vaping device unexpectedly exploded in her backpack. Dehaan alleges she had been purchasing her e-cigarette vaporizers and accessories from the defendants numerous times but was never warned that lithium ion batteries could explode or violently fail during their foreseeable and expected use. 

As a result, Dehaan says, she suffered second- and third-degree burns, necessitating skin grafting, emotional trauma and mental anguish. The plaintiff alleges the defendants failed to instruct, warn, and/or sell the e-cigarette's battery in such a condition so that it would operate safely as a reasonable consumer would expect.

Dehaan seeks trial by jury, damages of more than $15,000, court costs, interest and all other just relief. She is represented by attorneys T. Michael Morgan, Harris I. Yegelwel and Branden Weber of Morgan & Morgan, PA in Orlando.

Pinellas County Circuit Court case number 18C6352

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