Lithium ion batteries can catch fire and explode without warning. These fires and explosions can cause burns and lead to the inhalation of toxic fumes as the batteries and plastic components of the device combust.
The Death of the Galaxy Note 7
Problems with the batteries contained within Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 led the company to cease production and recall millions of the devices. The device caused lung damage to a man in Kentucky whose phone caught fire on October 4th. In another instance, it caused significant burns to a teenage girl in Minnesota whose phone caught fire while she was holding it.
There were at least 3 other incidents reported including one device catching fire on a Southwest Airlines flight in early October, and a Taiwanese woman whose phone caught fire in her pocket. These problems led the Transportation Security Administration to ban them from commercial aircraft, and ultimately, forced Samsung to halt production and recall all Galaxy Note 7’s from the marketplace.
Lithium Ion Dangers are Not New
In 2006, Sony was forced to replace lithium-ion battery packs used within their laptop computers following more than 300 incidents of the devices overheating. In a handful of instances, these batteries caught fire and caused significant property damage.
Lithium ion batteries are most commonly used in automobiles, aircraft, consumer electronics, and industrial facilities, Nearly $23 billion dollars worth of lithium ion batteries are sold every year. The market is expected to grow to $33 billion in just a few years. This means millions upon millions of lithium ion batteries are entering the marketplace each quarter. These batteries have a risky record that consumers have a right to be wary over.
Toxic Fumes are Equally as Dangerous as Flames
Lithium ion batteries that catch fire emit dangerous levels of toxic gasses. These gasses contain known carcinogens including benzene, toluene, styrene, and biphenyl. They also contain acrolein, carbon monoxide, and hydrogen fluoride. When consumers come into contact with these gasses, they can create respiratory problems, eye irritation, skin irritation, and damage to internal organs.
Personal injury attorneys in Las Vegas can help consumers who have been burned by lithium ion batteries. Whether the battery was within a phone, laptop, hoverboard, or other device, manufacturers can be held liable for the injuries and property damages their device causes.