Exploding e-cigarettes have prompted three new product liability lawsuits in California. The most recent of those cases involves a 17-year-old Clovis high school student who suffered severe second- and third-degree burn injuries after an e-cigarette exploded and caught fire. The teen says he was just sitting in class when the e-cigarette in his pocket exploded. He suffered serious burns on his hand and leg as he attempted to reach into his pocket and pull the cigarette out. The device burned right through his pants.
Are E-Cigs Really Safe?
E-cigarettes are often billed as a safer alternative to real cigarettes reducing the exposure to cancer-causing chemicals. But tests conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show the presence of several additives and chemicals that could cause serious lung damage. It’s been a cause for additional concern recently that e-cigarettes have been malfunctioning and exploding causing fires that result in serious burn injuries.
A 2014 report from the Federal Emergency Management Agency discussed fires and explosions that could be caused by these devices because the lithium-ion batteries that are used in them have the tendency to explode and catch fire when they fail. Unlike cell phones or laptops, which are also powered by lithium-ion batteries, e-cigarettes have a heating element. So the fire danger is higher and the batteries can potentially explode. The Clovis teen’s lawsuit claims that this problem was spotted as far back as 2009 and that the Chinese manufacturers have redesigned the SMOK brand without making it safer or even adding a warning for users.
Product Liability Lawsuits
Our product liability attorneys at Bisnar Chase have also filed lawsuits on behalf of victims who have suffered serious burn and laceration injuries as a result of e-cigarettes exploding on their faces. In Florida, one man was sent into a coma after a similar incident. In such cases where defective products or batteries are involved, manufacturers of these products and accessories such as batteries and chargers can be held liable not only for making a dangerous and defective product, but also for failing to warn consumers about the known dangers associated with the products.
We hope more victims and their families will come forward with these lawsuits or join class actions so more facts come out into the open about the dangers posed by exploding e-cigarettes. If you or a loved one has been injured, please do not hesitate to contact an experienced product defect lawyer who will fight to protect your rights and hold the at-fault manufacturers accountable.