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Defective E-Cigarette Batteries Prompt California Lawsuits

The number of lawsuits involving defective electronic cigarettes continues to grow. Last month, three California men filed product liability suits after suffering serious burns and other injuries when the batteries of their e-cigarettes exploded.

As the Los Angeles Daily News reports, the injury victims are hoping to not only recover compensation for their injuries, but also raise awareness about the risks associated with the product and the lack of safety regulations. One of the plaintiffs, Daniel Cliff, played Major League Soccer with the Los Angeles Galaxy. He suffered second-degree burns and facial fractures when the e-cigarette he was “vaping” suddenly exploded. In his California product liability suit, Vincente Garza alleges that an exploding e-cigarette battery caused severe facial injuries and resulted in the amputation of one of his fingers. The final plaintiff, Gregory Phillips, Jr., suffered second degree burns to his leg when his e-cigarette exploded in his pocket.

Unfortunately, the injuries suffered by the three California men are increasingly common as the popularity of e-cigarettes continues to grow. Sales of e-cigarettes more than doubled in 2014, totaling an estimated at $1.7 billion. While manufacturers tout e-cigarettes as a safer alternative to traditional smoking, concerns are growing about the potential risks. In addition to the health risks posed by the chemicals that are inhaled, the lithium batteries that power the devices can also cause serious harm.

Twenty-five separate incidents of explosion and fire involving an e-cigarette were reported in the United States media between 2009 and August 2014, according to the U.S. Fire Administration. “The shape and construction of e-cigarettes can make them more likely than other products with lithium-ion batteries to behave like ‘flaming rockets’ when a battery fails,” the Fire Administration report states.

Concerns about e-cigarette safety are compounded by the fact that they are largely unregulated.

If you or someone you love has been seriously injured by a dangerous or defective e-cigarette, don’t hesitate to contact a San Diego product liability attorney at the Law Offices of Robert Vaage for a free consultation.