Green Forest Vapor Shop denies liability in suit alleging e-cigarette exploded

By Heather Isringhausen Gvillo | Dec 18, 2017

A Waterloo vapor shop denies liability in a customer’s suit alleging the lithium battery in an e-cigarette purchased from the shop exploded in her pocket.

Audra Buckley filed her complaint Sept. 8 against Green Forest Vapor Shop, Liion Wholesale Batteries Inc. and Kanvape LLC.

In her complaint, Buckley alleges she purchased an electric cigarettes AVICV with two mini lithium batteries to operate the cigarette from Green Forest Vapor Shop in Waterloo on Jan. 4.

Buckley claims Liion Wholesale Batteries manufactured the batteries and Kanvape was a middle man wholesaler distributor that sold the batteries to Green Forest.

The plaintiff alleges the batteries were unreasonably dangerous and spontaneously exploded and caught fire in her pocket, causing her to suffer injuries.

As a result, Buckley claims she sustained burns to her hips, thighs and buttocks.

Buckley alleges the defendants knew of the defect and discontinued the sale of the lithium batteries.

Green Forest answered the complaint on Nov. 28 through attorney Paul Lore of Gordon & Rees LLP in Chicago.

The defendant asserted 23 affirmative defenses against Buckley, arguing that the plaintiff failed to join the proper persons and entities necessary for adjudication of her claims.

Green Forest also argues that the plaintiff’s claims are barred by the theories of estoppel, acquiescence, waiver and laches, as well as the doctrine of unclean hands.

The defendant alleges Buckley failed to exercise reasonable care and diligence to mitigate, minimize, or avoid the alleged damages.

Green Forest also claims the plaintiff’s alleged injuries were caused by abnormal use, misuse and abuse of any products at issue.

Green Forest adds that Buckley understood the risks associated with the alleged use of the e-cigarette products at issue and “continued to use and misuse the products in such a manner as to continue to expose herself to those risks.”

The defendant claims Buckley had a duty to exercise ordinary and reasonable care for her own safety, failed to heed a product warning and was otherwise careless and negligent.

Green Forest also filed a counterclaim against counter-defendant Kanvape LLC.

The defendant alleges Kanvape is a retailer and distributor of e-cigarette products and that the Joint Tortfeasor Contribution Act entitles it to judgment against the defendant if it is found liable in Buckley’s suit.

Kanvape answered Buckley’s complaint on Oct. 23 through attorneys Debbie Champion and David Renovitch of Rynearson Suess Schnurbusch & Champion LLC of St. Louis.

The defendant argues that the plaintiff’s alleged injuries were solely caused by her own conduct and failure to use the product as it was intended to be used.

Kanvape also argues that it has no liability as it “was simply a seller in the stream of commerce.”

Buckley denied each and every affirmative defense in her Oct. 27 response.

Buckley is represented by Paul Storment Jr. of Belleville.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number 17-L-498

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Gordon & Rees, LLP Rynearson, Suess, Schnurbusch & Champion LLC

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