This case involves a woman who was carrying an e-cigarette that was operated by two lithium ion batteries, which underwent an explosive failure while in close contact with the Plaintiff’s leg. The cigarette, manufactured by a popular maker of electronic cigarettes and accessories, had been purchased by the Plaintiff from a specialty vaporizer shop a few weeks before the incident in question. While the Plaintiff was carrying the cigarette on her walk to work, the batteries exploded in her pocket, causing severe burns to her leg. It is alleged that the batteries and/or the electronic cigarette was defectively designed and manufactured, and that the Plaintiff was not warned of the risk of battery explosions.
Question(s) For Expert Witness
- 1. Do you have knowledge about e-cigarettes and lithium ion batteries in specific regards to to e-cigarettes?
- 2. Please explain your experience in the industry.
Expert Witness Response E-042632
I have over twenty years of experience in lithium ion batteries, ranging from R&D to production, to supply chain management and production process quality. I have conducted numerous failure analyses involving lithium-ion battery fires. I have also visited many lithium ion production factories that make lithium ion cells for e-Cigarettes. The batteries are frequently improperly designed by cramming too much energy into the batteries or devices. They cannot handle the current causing “thermal runaway” which results in a battery meltdown or explosion.
Expert Witness Response E-043099
I have years of experience with lithium ion batteries and thermal runaway. This is very similar to the fires that occurred in modern hover boards, which were also made cheaply with relatively low-quality manufacturing methods and quality control. The quality of the battery cells are low, and the rate to which they emit energy to power the product is too high, resulting in the batteries heating up above 90 degrees and burst or melt down. This is known as thermal runaway and is a common failure in low-quality lithium ion batteries.