Midlothian man sues e-cigarette company after battery explosion

A Midlothian man is suing for what he calls a defective electronic cigarette battery that exploded in his pocket.

Matthew Bonestele, a software project manager and U.S. Navy veteran still favors his right leg one year after the accident. He says he will never be able to walk normally again after an e-cigarette battery exploded in his pocket.

"Think of having a real bad sunburn and your cream has nothing put sand it, and you are rubbing the cream on with the stand in one place,” Bonestele said, describing what he feels.

A photo taken weeks after the explosion shows the severity of Bonestele's burn wound.

"It looks like a big crater hit my leg,” Bonestele said. "I'll have a hole in my leg the rest of my life."

Bonestele was in the hospital for three weeks and says he’s very sensitive to heat and even sunlight.

His lawsuit claims faulty manufacturing made the battery dangerous.

There have been dozens of other reports of e-cigarettes catching on fire or exploding. Just last week in Arizona, police said a woman jumped out of her truck when an e-cig exploded in her lap.

The FDA confirmed there were 66 explosions in 2015 and 2016. The agency is looking at regulating the fast growing industry by requiring e-cigarette makers to submit their devices for review.                      

Bonestele's lawsuit is seeking more than $1 million in damages, but he said it’s more than just money he wants.

"I want to get the word out, this is not good, something needs to be done to make this better,” Bonestele said.

The e-cigarette companies being sued did not want to comment on the case.


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