Woman sues Arlington vape store after battery explodes in pocket

Woman blames e-cigarette battery for fire.

ARLINGTON, Texas -- It's a moment Johnnie Flores won't soon forget.

"I looked down and I saw sparks flying out of my pocket," the 22-year-old from Arlington said. "It felt like an explosion in my hand."

The scars on her body keep the memory fresh.

"This one actually pushed the skin back," she said as she showed her wounds. "This is the skin graft here."

Flores said she was hospitalized in June with severe burns after a spare lithium ion battery for her e-cigarette exploded in her pocket.

"It immediately felt like fire in my hand," Flores said.

She's now suing Luxor Vapors, the Arlington store on Little Road, for more than $100,000. The store is where she purchased the batteries. The lawsuit claims Luxor said the batteries were "safe for use" and "free of defects."

"They have a duty to protect these consumers from these type of injuries," said her attorney, Jim Ross.

Ross said e-cigarette batteries, often imported from China, are a known danger. He said he has a handful of similar lawsuits pending against different vape stores around North Texas. 

"The key thing... is not just selling a dangerous product, but knowing and doing nothing about the dangerous product," Ross said.

For its part, Luxor Vapors told News 8 it's conducting its own investigation right now and isn’t able to comment on the lawsuit at this time. Earlier in the day, however, an employee showed us two paper signs inside the store that warm customers of the fiery dangers of lithium-ion batteries.

Ross said the signs weren't there when Flores bought her batteries. Flores said the employees never explained the risks to her, even though she'd been a customer there for nearly two years.

"As far as the employees telling you, 'Hey, you need to be careful?' No," she said.

Now she feels it's her duty to spread that word so others don't also end up with marks to last a lifetime.

Copyright 2016 WFAA


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