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ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) – Reports of fires, explosions and now there are lawsuits involving possible faulty lithium-ion batteries.
It is the same power technology at the root of a massive, worldwide recall of Samsung cellphones.
Johnnie Flores of Arlington is the latest to file a lawsuit. She is suing Luxor Electronic Cigarettes after she claims a lithium-ion battery she purchased from the shop exploded in her pocket.
“I looked down and saw sparks flying out of my right pocket,” said Flores.“I quit smoking cigarettes thinking you know this is a good alternative. I didn’t expect that to happen.”
With several burns on her hand and leg, she has endured several painful skin grafts.
Her lawyer, Jim Ross, claims it is a result of a defective battery that was made in China and sold at Luxor. Ross said the products are not regulated.
“Whether that faulty production was done because of shortcuts or whether it was done because of designs defect, nobody knows yet,” said Ross. “The problem is, we know they’re blowing up.”
Ross is referencing not just his case, but the global recall of Samsung Galaxy Note 7’s.
Over the weekend, a mother in New York said her six-year-old’s hand was burned after the lithium-ion battery in her Samsung Galaxy Core smartphone exploded.
“When I see something scary, I have a human response and try to avoid that. It’s a natural response but we need to calm down,” said K.J. Cho, a professor at University of Texas at Dallas Department of Materials Science and Engineering.
Cho said lithium-ion batteries are packed with much more energy than conventional batteries. He said if they are overused or stored incorrectly, trouble can spark.
“When you see something happening you tend to panic and try not to use any battery. I’m going to throw away my cell phone because there’s a battery inside. That’s not a good attitude,” said Cho.
He said it is important to read all safety instructions and watch where the batteries are being purchased.
Flores said the pain is still fresh, and she is staying away from the batteries.
“Every day I look down and there it is,” said Flores. “You know, it’s always going to be there no matter what happens.”
A manager at Luxor Electronic Cigarettes did not want to comment but said there are warning signs posted in the store and that the battery was not purchased in the store.
Flores and her attorney said they have the receipts and are pressing forward with the lawsuit.
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