Q: I had a lithium ion battery catch on fire in my house. Fire department identified it as the source of the fire.
Fire happened in the middle of the night on my night stand. Fire department came out and identified the battery pack as the heat source. I started to file a claim with my home owners insurance. It looks like the claim will be around 20k for clean up, replacing burt items, hospital costs (2nd degree burns to my hand and I work with my hands), and hotel costs. Not included in there is time me and my girlfriend have taken off work, time dealing with all of this, ect.
The only thing I have accepted from the home owners insurance is cleaning of my room because I'd like to be able to live in my house again sometime soon.
I'd like to know if I should continue to pursue this with my insurance company or if I should persue this legally?
A: I hope you are recovering from your second degree burns. What you describe here could possibly be the basis for a product liability cause of action. To learn if that might be the case, you could arrange a brief consultation with a product liability attorney in Arizona (it looks like that is where you are; there is mention of Orange, CA). Whatever the case, they generally work on contingency and most provide free initial consultations.
The cause of action could depend upon whether the Lithium Ion battery pack was defective, in terms of being defectively designed, manufactured, or failing to provide adequate warnings. An attorney could explain those theories in further detail for you in a consult.
If you do contemplate pursuing an action based on product liability after consulting with an attorney, do not sign any further releases associated with the property damage claim without first having them reviewed by your attorney. Depending on the wording of a release, it could serve to preclude your rights to pursue claims you never intended to relinquish rights to. Good luck
Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.
The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.
Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.