A man is suing Sony for £10,000 after suffering horrific burns when his mobile phone “exploded” in his hands.
Tom Collins, 36, of Bedford, received third degree burns when his Sony Xperia Z2 burst into a “fireball” as he texted his girlfriend.
The financial adviser was rushed to hospital after the skin was stripped from all five fingers on his right hand.
The excruciating three-month recovery has seen him lose his job and girlfriend.
Mr Collins said: “It was the worst part of my life, it was a terrible time, it was awful, especially being on my own.
“I was in a hospital waiting room waiting for my burns to get dressed and there’s a young girl sitting there with a phone and I’m thinking ‘you don’t realise the danger’.
“I’m surprised that no one’s been killed, it just doesn’t bear thinking about.”
The explosion happened on May 24 as Mr Collins sent his girlfriend a text on Facebook Messenger.
“It just got really hot and ‘I thought what’s going on here?’ and I heard a very minimal thud noise,” he said.
“I turned it over and there was black soot everywhere - and then there was a bright, hot Bunsen burner-like flame coming out of the back of my phone.
“It looked like a rocket and within seconds the whole thing erupted like a fireball.
“I knew the battery had exploded. I dropped it to the floor straight away and luckily I had a bottle of water next to my bed, so I threw the water over the phone to put the flames out.
“It was pure shock, it was bloody frightening. When the whole thing went up that was just panic and I dropped it, the whole carpet went up straight away.
“My hands were red raw but I got a one-and-a-half litre bucket of water on the side (to put out the fire).
“If I hadn’t got that it’s likely the house would have caught fire because there was a lot of flames.”
He called an ambulance from his land line and waited outside.
“At the hospital everyone was in there was like ‘oh my god’.
“There was no skin on my fingers - the skin has just been completely removed on five fingers.
“They said it was third degree burns and they gave me morphine and entonox (laughing gas) but as the night went on the pain got worse.
“It literally felt like my hands had been scraped on the road at 50mph - when that pain happened it was horrendous and it was for about a week.”
Mr Collins said he lost his temp job and his partner in Birmingham broke up with him during his three-month recovery at home.
He was forced to keep his hands out of sunlight and said he lost sensation in his right index finger and thumb from his injuries.
He decided to make a claim for compensation with personal injury law firm Express Solicitors after only receiving “generic responses “ from Sony.
“Only when I contacted a solicitor did Sony take notice and then they kept calling and emailing me - trying to get me to send my phone back,” he said.
“The irony is that they kept leaving voicemail messages on my mobile which, of course, I couldn’t use!
“They’ve also had the cheek to tell me the engineer’s report said the water line mark had been activated - obviously it had been because I poured water all over it to stop my house from setting on fire.
“Unbelievably, I only bought the phone in the first place because it was advertised as the first smart phone in the world to be waterproof.”
A spokesman for Express Solicitors said Sony was denying liability because the damaged phone still worked with another battery.
Mr Collin’s lawyer Jonathan Flattery said: “Tom purchased his phone from a reputable manufacturer.
“He did not expect that through normal use his phone would explode resulting in him sustaining burns and serious injuries.
“We are not satisfied with the investigations Sony has conducted as to the cause of this fault.
“We’re concerned that cause may not be isolated and other users of this phone are at risk of a similar accident occurring.
“We’re bringing a claim against Sony for pain and injury, the time Tom had to take off work and the damage to his phone.
“It is a reputable company and more tests should have been done on this phone - Tom was only texting at the time so it should not have overheated.
“Sony responded on the basis that the phone is water damaged, which completely misses the point that Tom had to throw water on it to put the flames out.”
Express Solicitors specialises in personal injury and accident claims, clinical negligence claims and serious injury cases and comprises 187 employees including 69 fee earners and 16 partners.
Sony has been approached for a statement.