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With the recent media attention surrounding the spontaneous explosions of defective products including hoverboards and Samsung Galaxy cellular phones, the safety of Lithium-ion batteries is in question. Lithium-ion batteries are all around us, powering everything from digital cameras and e-cigarettes to cars and trains. They rarely malfunction, but when they do the results can be catastrophic. Besides the primary concern of physical harm, companies using lithium-ion batteries face the loss of millions of dollars in recalls and product liability claims.
For over 30 years, lithium-ion batteries have been used primarily because they are small, portable, and last a long time. They pack a lot of electrical punch in a small package, which makes them ideal for use in smaller equipment like phones and computers. Lithium-ion batteries all contain a flammable liquid that can be ignited if the battery should short-circuit. When the flammable liquid heats up too quickly, the battery can explode. There are safer alternatives to lithium-ion batteries, but they are heavier and not as efficient.
Lithium-ion battery manufacturers and companies that produce products using the batteries must answer questions about the safety of their products. One video or news report about a defective product can cost a company millions of dollars. Even though most Americans have heard about the dangers of exploding Samsung phones, in reality, the manufacturing defect only affects less than 0.01 of the total phones sold. But one person injured by a short-circuiting battery is too many. Typical injuries caused by defective lithium-ion batteries include burns and smoke inhalation.
So how can lithium-ion battery safety be improved going forward? Safer batteries protect consumers from injuries and property damage while protecting manufacturers from product liability claims. Science is already tackling the issue of lithium-ion battery safety. Earlier this year, researchers at Penn State created sensors that monitor battery temperature, detect problems, and warn users before real damage occurs. If scientists continue this research, we will soon have smarter lithium-ion batteries to continue to power up our daily lives – while ensuring our safety at the same time.
Some injuries caused by defective products are relatively minor. But in more serious cases, the consequences can be devastating. If you have been injured by a defective product, you may have some recourse in the form of a product liability claim. Cherry Hill product liability lawyers at Folkman Law Offices, P.C. will investigate your case at no cost to determine if you have a valid claim. Call our Cherry Hill offices at 856-354-9444 or complete our convenient online contact form to begin. Folkman Law proudly serves clients throughout Philadelphia and South Jersey.