Man says e-cigarette battery ignited in his pants pocket without warning and burned him

By Nicholas Malfitano | Oct 18, 2018

PHILADELPHIA – A man who says he was scorched when the power source of his electronic cigarettes, a lithium battery, ignited in his pants pocket without warning has filed a lawsuit against the battery’s manufacturer.

Daniel Merlo of Norristown filed suit in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas on Oct. 11 versus JP & SN Enterprises, Inc. (doing business as “E-Cigs International”), of Philadelphia and East Norriton.

The litigation says E-Cigs was the designer, manufacturer, marketer, distributor and/or seller of a lithium battery Merlo purchased from it, a business which acquire such batteries and repacks or rewraps them to make them appear as if they were manufactured by another company.

“Merlo purchased the battery from E-Cigs’ East Norriton location. On July 16, 2016, Merlo had the battery in a pocket of his pants. Without warning, the battery ignited, combusted, burned and/or heated in Merlo’s pocket. The battery caused Merlo’s pants to ignite, combust and/or burn, and Merlo to suffer burns to his body including, without limitation, to his legs and groin,” the suit states.

Merlo was said to have sustained severe and permanent injuries to his muscles, nerves, organs, tendons, connective tissues, skin and bones, including the above-mentioned burns, plus mental trauma, emotional distress, humiliation, disfigurement, pain and suffering, and loss of life’s pleasures, with possible future surgeries and skin grafts being necessary.

The plaintiff claims the battery was defectively designed, claimed to be safe when it was not and that he was not warned of the dangers associated with the lithium battery by the defendant.

For counts of strict liability, breach of warranty and negligence, the plaintiff is seeking damages in excess of $50,000, plus costs, delay damages, pre- and post-judgment interest as the law may allow.

The plaintiff is represented by Kevin Cornish of High Swartz, in Norristown.

The defendants have not secured legal counsel, per Court records.

Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas case 180701573

From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at

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