Workstation Firm Files $31M Suit Against Battery Maker

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (CN) – A provider of clinical workstations claims in court that a battery manufacturer sold it defective lithium-ion battery cells that overheated, costing the company $31 million.

Enovate Medical LLC, formerly known as Stinger Medical, provides hospitals with battery-powered, rechargeable computer workstations, both mobile and wall-mounted.

It claims Boston-Power Inc. sold it lithium-ion battery cells that Enovate would use in battery packs to power the workstations. But there was one problem: the cells overheated and led to “thermal incidences,” Enovate claims.

Enovate sued Boston-Power on Monday in Rutherford County, Tenn., where Enovate is headquartered. Boston-Power is based in Westborough, Mass.

“Lithium-ion battery cells that overheat, melt, smoke and could cause fires, such as those provided by Boston-Power, would not pass without objection in the battery cell market,” the complaint states. “The cells were not fit for their ordinary purpose.”

The battery maker tried manufacturing new cells with a taping technique to eliminate internal shorts, but that did not solve the overheating problem, Enovate claims.

“Enovate has expended over $8.3 million replacing defective battery packs, and will incur at least an additional $12.7 million to ensure that its workstations in use in hospital settings are equipped with batteries that properly function,” the lawsuit states. “These damages do not include the damage to Enovate’s business relations and goodwill.”

Enovate seeks $31 million in damages for claims of negligent misrepresentation, breach of warranty, unjust enrichment and Tennessee Consumer Protection Act violations.

It is represented by Robert Boston of Waller, Lansden, Dortch & Davis LLP in Nashville.

Boston-Power did not immediately respond to an email request for comment sent Friday evening.