In Dallas Federal Court, Man Sues Chinese Company Over Son's Exploding Lighter

Courthouse News has the complaint, in which Everett Clemmer is going after Zhuoye Lighter Manufacturing Co., claiming that a defect in his son William's lighter led to his death last year. From the suit, the key paragraph and cautionary tale:

On or about April 10, 2008, William Clemmer was working at Square One Machine Shop in Stephenville when he attempted to use an "MK" lighter to light a cigarette. Shortly after the cigarette was lit, the "MK" lighter suddenly and expectedly exploded in his pocket. As a result of the lighter failure, Mr. 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 excrutiating pain and suffering. Mr. Clemmer was promptly care-flighted to Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas where he received constant care for twenty-six days until his death on May 6, 2008.
No doubt, the complaint meant to read that the lighter "unexpectedly exploded in his pocket." But you get the point.

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Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky