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B.C. man sues Walmart after battery charger allegedly explodes in back pocket

A Vancouver man is alleging a portable battery charger he purchased at Walmart exploded and caught fire in his pocket and left him with severe thigh and buttock burns.
Walmart faces a lawsuit from a Vancouver man who alleges a portable battery charger explosion left him with thigh and buttock injuries.

A Vancouver man is suing Walmart Canada, alleging he received burns to his left thigh and buttock after a portable battery charger he says he bought at a company store exploded in his back pocket.

James Patrick Holder made the allegations in a notice of civil claim filed in B.C. Supreme Court on March 1.

He alleged he was at work on March 3, 2020 when the Walmart house-brand charger he bought in September 2016 exploded in his pants pocket and caught fire.

The claim said Holder was immediately rushed to Vancouver General Hospital where “a significant amount of flesh” was removed due to chemicals having melted into it.

The claim said a skin graft had to be stapled into place and medications such as fentanyl, morphine and Tylenol 3 had to be administered.

When the first graft did not take hold, further graft treatment was needed, according to the claim. Follow-up included frequent dressing changes and wearing custom-manufactured compression shorts to hold bandages in place.

Holder alleged he had to remain at home while on medication.

“He was able to return to work with some difficulty approximately two months later and has suffered permanent and substantial scarring with permanent loss of feeling and nerve damage in the scarred area,” the claim said.

Holder alleged Walmart negligently manufactured, distributed or supplied the charger and ought to have known it had a latent defect.

Holder is seeking general, aggravated and punitive damages.

Walmart was not immediately available for comment.

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