Excess and surplus lines insurer Scottsdale Insurance Co. does not have to defend a suit brought against a vape store by a customer who suffered severe burns after e-cigarette batteries exploded in his pocket, a federal court ruled Tuesday.

According to court documents in Scottsdale Insurance Co. v Aqueous Vapor LLC, Adam Williams, Mr. Williams bought e-cigarette batteries from an Aqueous Vapor store in Independence, Missouri, and shortly after he installed them when he returned home, they exploded in his pocket. Mr. Williams suffered second- and third-degree burns, which required extensive medical care, including skin grafts, court documents say.

Mr. Williams sued Aqueous Vapor and the company sought coverage under its commercial insurance policy with Scottsdale.

The Scottsdale, Arizona-based insurer denied coverage, citing the products-completed operations hazard exclusion in the policy, among other arguments.

Judge Roseann A. Ketchmark of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri Western Division granted Scottsdale’s motion to dismiss the case.

“The exclusion precludes coverage for bodily injury occurring away from the premises owned or rented by Aqueous Vapor and arising out of their product or work,” the judge ruled.


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