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Dangerous E-Cigarette Explosions on the Rise

Security cameras caught a recent electronic cigarette explosion, revealing just how dangerous the popular cigarette alternative can be. While “vaping” may seem like a safer choice, the lithium-ion batteries that power e-cigarettes can unexpectedly explode and cause serious injuries.

E-Cigarette Explosions Rising

Injuries related to e-cigarettes are on the rise. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), 66 explosions occurred in 2015 and early 2016 alone. Because burn incidents are not formally tracked, the number of injuries is likely much higher.

Last month, CCTV cameras captured an e-cigarette exploding in the face of a Massachusetts office worker. The device burst into flames as the man raised it to his lips to take a “vape.” The video next shows the man clutching his face, appearing to be suffering serious pain. According to media reports, the victim required 12 stitches to close the wound on his face.

While e-cigarettes are increasingly popular, they remain largely unregulated. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently proposed e-cigarette regulations. However, they are limited to the health effects of inhaling the vapors. With regard to product safety, the CPSC has determined that e-cigarettes do not fall under its jurisdiction. Accordingly, there are no federal regulations or safety standards addressing the safe design and manufacture of the devices.

Obtaining Compensation for E-Cigarette Injuries

When an exploding battery results in injury, the victim may have a product liability claim against all the parties in the chain of distribution, including the retailer, product manufacturer, and battery supplier. California product liability law expressly holds all the entities involved in the manufacture and distribution of unsafe products responsible for failing to make sure products are safe for consumers.

Product defects can also take several forms. Manufacturing defects occur when the process and product do not comply with safety specifications. Meanwhile, design defects are typically present from the beginning no matter how they are manufactured. Finally, marketing defects exist when companies fail to warn consumers about possible risks associated with the product or neglect to provide adequate instructions for use.

When filing a product liability lawsuit, the plaintiff may be entitled to receive compensation for:

  • Medical expenses, including hospitalization and rehabilitation
  • Property damage, such fire damage to furniture
  • Lost income
  • Pain and suffering
  • Wrongful death damages
If you or someone you care about has suffered serious harm due to a dangerous or defective e-cigarette, don’t hesitate to contact a San Diego product liability lawyer at the Law Offices of Robert Vaage for a free consultation.