DALLAS (CN) – A man says his son died of burns after a Chinese cigarette lighter exploded in his pocket. Everett Clemmer says his son William died after 26 painful days in hospital after an “MK” Zhouye Lighter exploded, giving him third-degree burns.
William Clemmer died in May 2008, his father says in his federal complaint. Everett Clemmer says his lit a cigarette at work with an “MK” lighter made by Zhouye Lighter Manufacturing Co. Ltd. and Zhouye Lighter (USA) Co. Ltd.
“Shortly after the cigarette was lit, the ‘MK’ lighter suddenly and [un]expectedly exploded in his pocket,” according to the complaint. “As a result of the lighter failure, [William] Clemmer’s clothing caught fire and burned 55% total body surface area including third degree burns to his groin and upper body, chest, abdomen, back, neck, face and scalp, causing him severe and excruciating pain and suffering.”
The father says the lighter was unreasonably dangerous and defective in its design, manufacture, marketing and for its intended purpose.
He says safer designs existed when the product was manufactured, designs that were technologically and economically feasible when the product left the defendants’ control.
Clemmer seeks punitive damages for product liability, negligence and wrongful death. He is represented by David Harris with Sico, White, Hoelscher & Braugh in Corpus Christi.