Written by Peter CarterFebruary 20, 2017
James Heinlein suffered first, second and third-degree burns when an e-cigarette exploded in his shirt pocket.
The damage extended down his torso to his right thigh.
During his time in hospital he endured debridement and grafting of skin harvested from his left thigh, which resulted in scarring and itching.
Heinlein sued Vapormax Inc, the retailer which sold the battery. Heinlein claimed the battery was faulty and did not have adequate warnings.
Heinlein claimed Vapormax Inc did not sufficiently warn consumers that by storing the battery near metal objects a reaction could occur causing the battery to explode.
Heinlein stated that he had his keys in the same pocket in which he placed the battery, which caused it to explode and had he known of the dangers he would not have placed the two items next to each other.
The court entered a default against Vapormax after they failed to answer.
In a bench trial on damages, the court awarded about $1.24 million, including $600,000 for past pain and suffering, $500,000 for future pain and suffering, about $139,500 for past medical expenses, and $4,000 for miscellaneous expenses.