MIDLOTHIAN (CBS11) – A Midlothian Navy veteran is taking the maker of an e-cigarette battery to court after he claimed a battery exploded in his pocket, burning his leg.
“I had to go to the store, I ran upstairs to go get a couple of things, I stepped into the bathroom and it blew up,” Matthew Bonestele said.
Bonestele said the spare e-cigarette battery he had in his pocket began shooting fire into his thigh.
“I felt pain and nd I felt the flames,” he said. “I smelled the smoke and I smelled the burning. So I spent about the next 20 seconds ripping off my pants and patting down my legs to put the flames out.”
The fire burned down into the muscle of his upper thigh and burned his skin all the way down below his knee.
“For the first month, month and a half it was kind of hard to get around,” he recalled. “They actually had me leave the hospital with a walker.”
Bonestele said he can’t ride with his motorcycle group to youth charity functions like he used to.
“I miss a lot of that because I can’t get out to all, I can’t get out and do a lot of stuff with the kids because where the where the injury is is right about the height of a 4-year-old. Boom! Right there. So it’s a little bit painful. I’ve had to pull myself back from doing a lot of that stuff. Also it’s harder to ride when you have a burned leg.”
In the lawsuit, Bonestele blames the manufacturer of the HG2 18650 battery, LG Chem and the companies including the Midlothian vape shop that sold it for distributing a defective product.
Bonestele said he hopes his lawsuit serves as a warning to consumers.
“It can happen to anybody,” he said. “So, getting more education on what it is now but also pushing the manufacture to test more.”
The companies named in the lawsuit either declined comment or did not immediately respond to requests for comment.