Lawsuit Filed Against LG for Exploding Lithium-Ion Battery

Lawsuit Filed Against LG for Exploding Lithium-Ion Battery

Multinational electronics company LG Chem Ltd faces a lawsuit filed in Mississippi state court by a woman who alleges she suffered severe injuries after one of the company’s lithium-ion batteries exploded in her pocket. A trial court previously dismissed the lawsuit, but the Supreme Court of Mississippi recently reinstated the case against the South Korean electronics behemoth. This case is among the multiple lithium-ion battery explosion lawsuits against LG nationwide. 

Plaintiff Experiences Severe Burns Over Lithium-Ion Battery Explosion

Mississippi plaintiffs Melissa Dilworth and her husband, Thomas Dilworth, filed a lawsuit against LG in DeSoto County Circuit Court. The Dilworths allege that an LG 18650 lithium-ion battery inside a vaping device exploded in Melissa’s pocket while she was walking her dog in 2018. Melissa suffered severe second and third-degree burns along her groin, legs, and fingers. The lithium-ion battery injuries required Melissa to remain at a burn center for more than a week of treatment. Dilworth claims she purchased the vape at a local Mississippi vape store, but the battery came with no warnings or instructions. Melissa’s husband also sued LG for lack of consortium

Supreme Court Reverses Decision to Throw Out Case 

LG attempted to dismiss the Dilworths’ lawsuit, citing that the court had no jurisdiction since the South Korean company has no offices or employees in Mississippi. The electronics company argued the vape equipment manufacturer acquired the lithium-ion battery through unauthorized channels since the battery is not available for standalone sale. Judge Gerald Chatham agreed with LG’s reasoning and granted the motion to dismiss the lawsuit. 

However, the Supreme Court of Mississippi ruled the court does have jurisdiction since LG sold lithium-ion batteries for other uses such as golf carts, tools, and phones. The court determined that LG provides lithium-ion batteries for various products in the Mississippi market. Even though LG did not specifically distribute the battery for vaping devices, it still sold lithium-ion batteries for other purposes, which qualifies it for personal jurisdiction. While LG has tried several times to remove lawsuits against the company for its explosive lithium-ion batteries, these attempts have been unsuccessful. LG faces roughly 44 similar lawsuits in numerous states, like Georgia, Texas, and Ohio.