South Korean Manufacturer LG Chem Ltd. Must Face Suit in Texas Over Exploding E-Cig Batteries

A Harris County, Texas Court of Appeals recently held that South Korea’s LG Chem Ltd. is subject to the jurisdiction of Texas courts for lawsuits related to the foreign manufacturer’s 18650 lithium-ion batteries, which are often used in e-cigarettes. LG Chem Ltd. and LG Chem America, Inc. have been sued in many states, including Texas, related to significant injuries suffered by e-cig users after the lithium-ion battery inside spontaneously combusts.

In the case recently decided by Harris County’s First Court of Appeals, LG Chem Ltd. filed a motion to be dismissed from the lawsuit, arguing that the South Korean company should not be subject to suit in Texas courts because it does not manufacture the batteries in Texas, it does not do business in Texas, it does not sell its batteries directly to consumers in Texas, and it does not otherwise have sufficient connections with Texas to be subject to suit here.

In response to LG Chem Ltd.’s motion, evidence was produced that many of LG Chem Ltd.’s lithium-ion batteries have been shipped directly through the ports of Houston and to other addresses in Texas from LG Chem Ltd. and that counsel for LG Chem Ltd. admitted to another court that LG Chem Ltd. ships lithium-ion 18650 batteries directly to Texas. Evidence was also produced that LG Chem America, Inc. is wholly owned by LG Chem Ltd. and that LG Chem Ltd’s batteries are marketed and distributed to customers in Texas through LG Chem America, Inc. The trial court denied LG Chem Ltd.’s motion and it appealed.

Based on this and other evidence, Harris County’s First Court of Appeals affirmed, holding that there was sufficient evidence that LG Chem Ltd. was doing business in Texas, that LG Chem Ltd. purposefully availed itself to the laws of Texas with regard to its 18650 lithium-ion batteries, and that there was a sufficient connection between LG Chem Ltd.’s conduct directed towards and the plaintiff’s injuries such that LG Chem Ltd. should be subject to suit in Texas over the batteries.

The attorneys at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner have been fighting for the rights of people who have been injured by defective products for decades. If you or someone you know has been affected by a defective e-cig, or any other defective product, contact the experienced attorneys at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner at (713) 222-7211 or toll free at 713-222-7211.