Spence Law Firm Settles Battery Explosion Case: Federal Court In Albuquerque Awards $2.5 Million To Injured Air Force Serviceman


ALBUQUERQUE — The Spence Law Firm, one of New Mexico’s largest personal injury and wrongful death law firms, recently obtained a jury verdict involving an Air Force serviceman severely burned on his leg, groin and hands as a result of lithium-ion batteries exploding in his pants pocket.

The victim was awarded $2.5 million in damages by a Federal Court jury in Albuquerque.

The injured man had purchased the battery from a retailer in Otero County, N.M. for use in his E-cigarette. The evidence presented to the jury confirmed that the batteries were improperly designed and manufactured without any form of internal temperature control or protection circuitry and were designed without resistance to ordinary pressure, thermal or fatigue stress and that the battery packaging failed to prevent short circuiting, which led to rapid discharge, overheating, and catastrophic failure.

These defects caused the batteries to explode and catastrophically burn the plaintiff.

“Our client wanted to quit smoking and thought e-cigarettes would help him have a better life.  Unfortunately, he was unaware of the danger when he put two e-cigarette batteries into his pants pocket as he headed out to work,” explained Dennis Wallin, a Spence Law Firm Partner and litigator on this case. “The batteries exploded in his pocket causing painful and severe burns. He was transported to a hospital burn unit and underwent months of therapy to recover. His fingers and leg have permanent nerve-damage from the intense heat and burns due to the batteries exploding in his pocket.”

The jury took less than two hours to return a verdict in favor of the Spence Law Firm client.

“While money won’t get rid of our client’s long-term pain and suffering, it will allow him to have the funds for ongoing treatment and compensate him for losses due to being unable to do the work he was doing prior to the accident,” Wallin added.


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