Lithium-Ion Battery Explosions
Defective Batteries to Blame for Injuries, House Fires
Battery Explosion Lawsuits
RPWB represents people throughout the country who were injured or lost their homes when lithium-ion batteries exploded or caught fire. This includes e-cigarettes, cell phones (such as the Samsung Note 7), personal vaporizers and remote controlled vehicles.
RPWB was named a 2017 Best Law Firm by U.S. News & World Report in the areas of products liability and personal injury litigation. Our firm is a top-listed plaintiff product liability firm as rated by Best Lawyers in America.
We have a long record of successfully representing plaintiffs suffering from burn injuries and those who have lost their homes to fire. This includes multi-million dollar settlements for lithium-ion battery explosions. Additionally, we have represented many people who were burned by other defective products, including gas cans, deep fryers and gas grills. This included more than 50 people who were hurt or killed by exploding gas cans. One group of clients received more than $60 million from Blitz U.S.A, Inc., and Walmart as a part of a settlement.
As more Americans turn to e-cigarettes and personal vaporizers, we wanted to alert you to a lesser-known danger of these products.
E-cigarettes typically run on high-power, lithium-ion batteries that are highly combustible. Most e-cigarettes or personal vaporizers utilize a cylindrical housing area for the battery. When one of these batteries fails, the e-cigarette or personal vaporizer can either explode or rupture at one of its ends, causing the device to be propelled like a rocket. Serious injury to users’ hands and faces have been associated with the use of e-cigarettes or personal vaporizing hardware. In some cases, the explosions have also caused house and car fires.
RPWB attorneys are currently involved in litigation stemming from injuries caused by the explosion of electronic cigarettes or personal vaporizers. If you would like to speak with one of our attorneys about injuries resulting from the use of these types of devices, please contact Terry Richardson or Chris Moore.
The answer is often the result of manufacturers pushing the limits of batteries in order to maximize the amount of stored energy while minimizing charging time and cost. If you think about it, nearly every new device we use is more powerful than what it replaced, placing more and more demand on a style of battery that many experts believe has been maxed out in terms of the amount of energy it can store.
There are a variety of ways in which lithium-ion batteries can explode, including leaking chemicals, incompatible chargers and improperly separated electrodes as appears to be the case with the Samsung Galaxy Note 7. For more information about the science behind battery explosions, we recommend this article.
Many lithium-ion batteries are produced in unregulated factories in Asia, according to a recent report in the New York Times. Often battery explosions happen without warning, which poses even more of a threat for products that are kept close to a person’s body, such as e-cigarettes, cameras, cell phones and other personal electronics.
In March 2016, the Federal Aviation Administration issued a warning that lithium batteries in the storage area of airplanes pose a risk of “catastrophic hull loss.” Six months later, in October 2016, the FAA banned Samsung Note 7 phones from airplanes after numerous reports of exploding phones.
RPWB attorneys are involved in product liability and personal injury litigation against parties who are responsible for bringing defective and dangerous products to market. We understand the science of these cases and have a long record of bringing justice to the victims of dangerous products.
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Aug 29, 2019
Assistant U.S. Attorney Will Lewis to Join RPWB
COLUMBIA — Richardson, Patrick, Westbrook & Brickman, LLC is honored to announce that William Camden (Will) Lewis will be joining our law firm. He is presently employed at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of South Carolina in Columbia, where he has worked as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for more than 3 years. After […]READ MORE
Aug 15, 2019
16 RPWB Lawyers Selected For Best Lawyers List
CHARLESTON – RPWB was once again the top-listed plaintiff law firm in South Carolina for product liability cases as well as mass tort and class action lawsuits in the 2020 edition of The Best Lawyers in America®, which was released in August 2019. In total, 16 RPWB attorneys were designated as 2020 Best Lawyers, including […]READ MORE
Jul 22, 2019
First New Mesothelioma Treatment in 15 Years Approved By FDA
By Ken Wilson It’s not often that we get to report new treatments for mesothelioma. While we do see a lot of clinical trials, the standard treatment plan for malignant pleural mesothelioma has been relatively unchanged for many years. Most patients go through surgery (if they are able to), radiation and chemotherapy. It can be […]READ MORE
Jun 10, 2019
When Personal Vaporizers Explode: An Entire Industry Designed Around the Wrong Battery
By Chris Moore Since the mid-2000s, we have become more reliant on lithium-ion batteries and the devices they power. The batteries are extremely useful and serve an important function. Just a decade ago, it would have been inconceivable for a laptop computer or a smartphone to be used for an entire day on just one […]READ MORE
May 23, 2019
RPWB Named To Leadership of 3M Combat Arms Ear Plug MDL
RPWB member attorney Elizabeth Middleton Burke was named to the leadership of the 3M Combat Arms Ear Plug multidistrict litigation. Federal lawsuits filed against 3M for producing faulty military ear plugs have been consolidated in the Northern District of Florida. Burke was named as co-chair of the Plaintiff Steering Committee, which builds the national product […]READ MORE
May 20, 2019
Richardson is a Top 25 Lawyer (Again!)
RPWB Founding Member Terry Richardson has been named as one of the top 25 lawyers in South Carolina by Super Lawyers, one of the nation’s premiere attorney rating services. This marks Richardson’s ninth time appearing on the list. For three consecutive years, he was ranked as one of the top 10 attorneys in the state. […]READ MORE
Apr 24, 2019
RPWB named to leadership of firefighting foam MDL
CHARLESTON, S.C. – RPWB has been named to the leadership of litigation to help the nation’s water utilities filter out harmful chemicals left behind by firefighting foam manufactured by 3M and Tyco. RPWB member Christiaan Marcum sits on the Plaintiff Executive Committee of the Aqueous Film-Forming Foam (AFFF) Multi-District Litigation, which has been consolidated in […]READ MORE
Mar 25, 2019
Supreme Court ruling will help asbestos victims
By Dave Butler The United States Supreme Court delivered an unexpectedly good opinion for asbestos victims last week. For years, equipment makers (including those who make pumps, valves, turbines and boilers) have argued that they only make and sell metal products and cannot be held responsible for asbestos products made by third parties and later […]READ MORE
Jan 18, 2019
RPWB welcomes a new member
Richardson, Patrick, Westbrook & Brickman is proud to announce that Aaron Dias has been named the firm’s newest member. Dias has spent the entirety of his legal career with RPWB, beginning as a clerk during law school. In 2005, he became an associate attorney at the firm. His practice focuses primarily on pharmaceutical and other […]READ MORE
Dec 03, 2018
Parties agree to settle SC nuclear plant class action
SCANA and SCE&G settle class action lawsuit with Attorney General and Plaintiffs Related to V.C. Summer Nuclear Costs Plaintiffs Richard Lightsey, LeBrian Cleckley, and Phillip Cooper have reached an agreement with SCANA Corporation and South Carolina Electric & Gas Company to settle a lawsuit filed in the state Court of Common Pleas in Hampton County on […]READ MORE
Nov 02, 2018
RPWB is a 2019 U.S. News Best Law Firm
CHARLESTON, S.C. – Richardson, Patrick, Westbrook & Brickman was named a 2019 Best Law Firm by U.S. News & World Report, recognizing the plaintiff firm for its work on mass torts and class actions, product liability, securities, healthcare law, medical malpractice and personal injury lawsuits. With 16 lawyers listed on the underlying Best Lawyers in […]READ MORE
Oct 24, 2018
The Role of the Whistleblower: A look at qui tam litigation
By Chuck Dukes Qui tam litigation allows private citizens, like you, to join in the battle against government fraud. Every year, many of our public institutions—from the military to Medicare—are plagued by fraud. Astonishingly, it’s estimated that nearly 10% of all federal spending, or $350–$400B per year, is lost due to fraud. And by and […]READ MORE
Sep 18, 2018
Families of two smokers hooked by free samples awarded $113 million
The families of a pair of deceased smokers from the United States Virgin Islands were awarded $113 million by two juries last month. In a consolidated trial, the juries found that the maker of Newport cigarettes (previously Lorillard, now R.J. Reynolds) engaged in a program to hook young people, including children, on cigarettes. The program […]READ MORE
Aug 14, 2018
16 RPWB attorneys named to Best Lawyers List
CHARLESTON – Richardson, Patrick, Westbrook & Brickman was again recognized as South Carolina’s top-listed plaintiff law firm for product liability cases and mass tort/class actions by The Best Lawyers in America® in their 2019 edition released in August 2018. In all, 16 RPWB attorneys were named 2019 Best Lawyers, including four new additions to the […]READ MORE
Aug 14, 2018
Richardson on mass torts win: “Unrelenting pressure is essential.”
RPWB founding attorney Terry Richardson has worked on many mass tort cases throughout his four decades practicing law, but the 2005 Graniteville train crash stands out due to its size, scope and complexity. His experience with the case recently featured by the website drugwatcher.org in the article “11 of America’s Top Trial Lawyers Share Their […]READ MORE