Pennsylvania Record

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Man who claimed he was burned by e-cigarette batteries that exploded in his pocket settles case

State Court

By Nicholas Malfitano | Feb 6, 2020


PHILADELPHIA – A settlement recently came to the case of a Lancaster man who argued that he suffered second- and third-degree burns to his left leg, after a pair of lithium ion batteries intended to be used to power an e-cigarette lighter exploded in his pants pocket.

On Jan. 10, counsel for plaintiff Douglas Paulson filed a praecipe to mark the matter as settled, discontinued and ended. Terms of the settlement were not disclosed.

Paulson, of Lancaster, initially filed suit in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas on Nov. 20, 2017 versus LG Chem America, Inc. of Harrisburg, LG Chem Michigan, Inc. and LG Chem Power, Inc. of Wilmington, Del. and LG Hausys America, Inc. of Lawrenceville, N.J.

(Originally, One Step Above, LLC of Lancaster was a named defendant, but it was dismissed from the litigation on July 30, 2018, while LG Chem Corp. was also dismissed as a defendant from the litigation on Aug. 2, 2018.)

“Plaintiff Doug Paulson purchased 18650 LG Chem Li-Ion Batteries from defendant One Step Above for use in his e-cigarette. On Nov. 24, 2015, two 18650 LG Chem Li-Ion Batteries, purchased from One Step Above, that were in Mr. Paulson’s pants pocket exploded and caught fire. As a result, Mr. Paulson’s pants and left leg were severely burned,” according to the lawsuit.

The plaintiff and his counsel argued the batteries were defectively designed, manufactured, distributed and sold by the defendants, constituting both negligence-related liability and a breach of the product’s warranty.

Counsel for the defendants filed preliminary objections to the complaint the following June, citing a lack of personal jurisdiction and no minimum contacts for the defendants to Pennsylvania and alleging it fails to state a claim upon which relief could be granted and argued the defendants were served with the complaint improperly.

Prior to settlement and for counts of negligence, strict liability and breach of warranty, the plaintiff is seeking damages in excess of $50,000, plus costs, interest, compensatory damages and all other damages allowed by law.

The plaintiff was represented by Kenneth F. Fulginiti and Sarah F. Dooley of Duffy & Fulginiti, in Philadelphia.

The defendants were represented by Donald H. Smith and Walter H. Swayze III of Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith in Pittsburgh and Wayne, plus Patricia K. Denham of Bernhardt Rothermel & Siegel, in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas case 171102000

From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at

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Organizations in this Story

Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas