Former Navy SEAL files suit over horrific burns allegedly caused by exploding e-cigarette

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Published 12:58 pm, Monday, April 17, 2017

A former U.S. Navy SEAL who suffered severe burns when an e-cigarette battery exploded in his pants pocket has filed suit against the manufacturer and seller.

Matthew Bonestele, of the Dallas-area town of Midlothian, filed the suit in July 2016 in Travis County against retailer Great Vapes, distributor Lightfire Group and manufacturer LG Chem America, Inc. He is represented by Randy Sorrels of the Houston law firm Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto & Aziz.


On April 21, 2016, Bonestele, now 56, was carrying an LG Chem HG2 18650 battery in the right pocket of his pants when the battery suddenly exploded, according to a statement from the law firm.

“Mr. Bonestele suffered an injury that he could never have imagined in civilian life,” Sorrels said in a statement.

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The explosion resulted in severe third-degree burns to most of Bonestele’s right leg and a hole in his upper right thigh.

“The reality is that these batteries are small sticks of dynamite and the e-cigarette industry needs to make wholesale changes to insure the safety of all those who use these batteries,” Sorrels said in the statement. “Further, the danger is not just limited to the user, but also to everyone that is near the user – including those in the same house who could be injured or killed by a resulting fire.”

The lawsuit alleges that the LG Chem battery was defectively designed and manufactured, making it unreasonably dangerous to potential users and lacked warnings to alert users of potential danger.


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