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The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri has decided that an excess and surplus lines insurer 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. The case is Scottsdale Ins. Co. v. Vapor, No. 4:20-00328-CV-RK, 2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5296 (W.D. Mo. Jan. 12, 2021).

Scottsdale Insurance Company issued an insurance policy to Aqueous Vapor, a vape shop. The policy contained a Commercial General Liability part and a Commercial Property Coverage part. While the policy was effective, a customer of Aqueous Vapor, Adam Williams, was injured just after he installed the batteries into his e-cigarette, when the battery exploded in his pocket. Williams suffered second- and third-degree burns which required extensive medical care, including skin grafts. When the explosion occurred, Williams was no longer on the premises of the vape shop.

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