Family Experiences Devastating Loss Involving Medical Device with Defective Lithium-Ion Battery

Pope McGlamry Represents Family in Lawsuit Following Tragic Incident Involving Medical Device with Defective Lithium-Ion Battery

On December 25, 2022, a fire killed our client’s husband and three-year-old son. Their tragic deaths were the result of a preventable fire caused by a lithium-ion battery in the controller of her husband’s heart device, and a series of failures with the sprinkler and fire safety systems at the apartment complex where they lived.

Atlanta resident Fatou Secka lost her husband and son in a tragic accident involving defective medical equipment.

The Potential Dangers of Lithium-ion Batteries

Our client's husband was implanted with a HeartMate 3 Left Ventricular Assist Device, a medical device that assists the heart in pumping blood for patients with advanced heart failure. Such devices can be lifesaving, but in this case, a lithium-ion (Li-ion) backup battery that could temporarily power the device experienced thermal runaway, a chain reaction leading to a rapid, uncontrollable increase in temperature within the battery. This chain reaction triggered a fire, which led to his death, and the smoke it produced led to the death of their young son. Last month, WSB-TV of Atlanta, Georgia, covered this case, which you can learn more about on their website. Unfortunately, this isn't the only time that a Li-ion battery fire has ended in tragedy. In November 2023, a grandmother, her son, and her grandson were killed after an e-scooter exploded outside their apartment in Brooklyn, NY. And in the past two years, four companies recalled Li-ion–powered devices after concerns about overheating and fire hazards.

Holding Li-ion Battery Manufacturers Accountable

We believe manufacturers should be held accountable for the tragedies resulting from defective devices. Lithium-ion batteries are in so much of the technology we use today—from smartphones to medical devices to toys—and greater efforts should be made to ensure that these batteries are safe. When tragedies strike, please know that you don't have to face them alone. Pope McGlamry can help if you or a loved one has experienced a catastrophic injury due to a defective device. We have the resources and experience to take on large corporations and can help you understand your legal options. To request a free case evaluation, send us a message or call us toll-free at (877) 285-7656. And to stay updated on our litigation surrounding lithium-ion batteries, bookmark this page or follow us on Facebook.