Samsung Sued Over Exploding Lithium-Ion Vape Pen Batteries

A case filed in federal court in Arizona last week claims that Korea’s Samsung SDI Co. Ltd. made a defective e-cigarette battery that exploded injuring two of the plaintiffs, a father and infant son in 2019. The complaint, filed not only against Samsung, but also the brick-and-mortar store the father allegedly purchased the vape pen from, Red Star Vapor LLC, states seven product liability-related causes of action.

The filing explained that e-cigarettes or vape pens are “battery operated devices that deliver nicotine through flavoring and other chemicals to users in the form of vapor instead of smoke.” It further said that they function using three basic components: a tank, a battery that works to heat fluid, and an atomizer that converts the liquid into vapor inhaled by the user.

According to the complaint, the injuries occurred one day when the father was lying in bed, vape pen on his stomach, and infant son lying next to him. Without warning, the e-cigarette reportedly exploded with “a loud pop” while the pregnant wife looked on. Flames allegedly shot from the vape pen and the batteries from the device. According to the complaint, “the room was filled with smoke and the bed was covered in flames.”

Both father and son were burned as the wife dialed emergency services for help. The two suffered burn injuries and the son scars, “that serve as a lifetime reminder of this painful incident,” the complaint said.

The filing stated claims for defective design and manufacture, failure to warn, negligence, infliction of emotional distress, and breach of warranty under state and federal law. The plaintiffs seek redress including damages, medical expenses, loss of income, and an award of their attorneys’ fees and litigation costs.

The plaintiffs are represented by Mick Levin P.L.C. and Levin Simes Abrams LLP.