Cases

Exploding lithium-ion batteries

Lithium-ion batteries are popular with manufacturers because they’re rechargeable and store more energy than most other batteries. The benefits may come at a potentially deadly cost, however, as lithium-ion batteries can be unstable and prone to overheating. If defective, these batteries may suddenly explode or burst into flames, endangering consumers.

Countless consumers may unknowingly be at risk of severe injuries and burns as lithium-ion batteries are the power source of choice for many of the latest high-tech gadgets, including smartphones (iPhones and androids), laptops, tablets, cameras, watches, hoverboards, e-cigarettes and more.

Motley Rice catastrophic injury attorneys represent victims and are reviewing claims alleging injuries caused by lithium-ion batteries. If you or a loved one were harmed by an exploding battery, you may have a claim.

Contact an attorney

For more information or to discuss a potential catastrophic injury claim involving an exploding laptop, smartphone or other device containing a rechargeable lithium-ion battery, please contact attorneys Kevin Dean and Jodi Westbrook Flowers by email or call 1.800.768.4026.

Lithium-ion battery injuries

Rechargeable lithium-ion batteries first hit the market in 1991 and were manufactured and sold by Sony Corporation. Despite decades of continued development and battery system improvements, initial safety concerns regarding overheating and unpredictable explosions and fires are still largely apparent today. If defective, lithium-ion batteries can cause injuries that are quite severe and life altering, especially when devices, such as smartphones and e-cigarettes, are used or carried within close proximity to the face, hands and body, or result in an accident causing further injury while dealing with the exploding battery. Potential injuries may include:

  • Severe burns
  • Broken teeth
  • Facial fractures
  • Broken neck
  • Paralysis
  • Impact wounds
  • Death
  • Other enhanced injuries from an incidental accident while distracted     

Why do lithium-ion batteries explode?

Lithium-ion batteries contain a flammable, liquid electrolyte that may ignite due to overheating or due to short-circuiting when a plastic separator that keeps the battery’s electrodes from touching is damaged. A number of factors may increase the chances of a battery exploding, including defects caused by poor manufacturing designs and materials, and poorly made or damaged chargers. Several product recalls have been linked in recent years to these and other issues, including certain HP laptop batteries, and Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 smartphone, which our attorneys began to review in 2016 after the Note 7 was banned from all U.S. flights due to the device being deemed a fire hazard. Additional flight restrictions for lithium-ion batteries can be found here.

Common Products Containing Lithium Ion Batteries:

  • Smartphones (iPhones and androids)
  • Laptops
  • Tablets (iPads, Kindles, E-readers, Fire, and others)
  • Cameras
  • Watches
  • Hoverboards
  • GPS devices
  • E-cigarettes
  • Wireless headphones
  • Bluetooth speakers
  • Wireless keyboards
  • Wireless mice
  • Handheld gaming devices
  • Cordless landline phones 

Our exploding e-cigarette experience

Motley Rice attorneys have experience representing people harmed, or tragically killed, due to defective products, including e-cigarettes that contain lithium-ion batteries. Read more.