A married Plainfield couple is suing two Joliet vape shops, alleging batteries purchased there for an e-cigarette exploded and caught fire-
By Steve Schmadeke | June 28th, 2017
In the husband’s pants pockets, leaving him with second and third-degree burns and hurting their love life. Scott Schroeck’s wife, Denise, alleges in the suit against Rockin Vape, Tobacco Zone and battery manufacturer LG that she lost her husband’s companionship after the June 12 incident. The negligence and product liability lawsuit filed in Cook County circuit court this week alleges the batteries were defective and that no warnings were provided of the risk of explosion.
The couple also is seeking damages for “the loss of consortium, including the society, companionship and sexual relationship” that the couple had enjoyed in their marriage.
Schroeck, a father of five who owns a trucking business, was checking a load of lumber on his truck earlier this month when he felt fire in one of his front pants’ pockets and then the other, according to his lawyer Scott Rudin. He had put a spare lithium-ion battery in each pocket for his e-cigarette, Rudin said.
Similar lawsuits have been filed by e-cigarette users across the country alleging spare lithium-ion batteries exploded while being stored in a pants pocket or backpack. Rudin said his firm has filed several other lawsuits over exploding batteries but the injuries suffered by Schroeck are “by far the most significant that I’ve seen.”
Schroeck was rushed to Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, where he was treated for burns on both legs before being released about a week later. The couple already racked up medical bills of over $200,000, Rudin said, and continue to face expenses for upcoming skin graft surgery.
“He’s got a long road ahead,” said Rudin. His client has not been able to work since the incident.
The owners of Tobacco Zone and Rockin Vape could not be reached for comment. A spokesman for LG Chem, the division of LG that makes the batteries, did not return an email seeking comment.