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E- Cigarette Battery Explodes and Injures Romance Novelist

First Vaping Death Reported by U.S. Health Officials

An e-cigarette battery exploded in romance novelist Scott Hildreth’s pocket at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas. According to a KSNV news report, fire officials said Hidreth is now recovering at the hospital with third-degree burn injuries and a long recovery ahead. Hildreth told News 3 that the explosion was likely caused by a spare battery from an electronic cigarette he left in his front pants pocket. However, it is not clear how the battery ignited.

Severe Burn Injuries

Hildreth said the damage on his leg is severe. He said the skin on his hand from his thumb all the way across his palm is missing. He called it a deep burn. The incident occurred on June 4, 2017 when Hildreth said he and his wife were at the airport waiting for a flight to Florida from Las Vegas. They were already through security when they stopped to get snacks at an airport shop. That’s when the e-cigarette exploded in a ball of fire. Hildreth said he dropped to the floor and his clothes were on fire.

Fire officials believe a lithium battery in Hildreth’s pocket caused the explosion and fire. Investigators are still looking into the incident. Doctors have told Hildreth that he is going to need skin grafts and his recovery period could last longer than six months. He had to cancel at least three scheduled book signings across the country, Hildreth said.

E-Cigarette Incidents

This is, of course, not the first incident where an e-cigarette lithium battery has exploded and caused terrible injuries, and unfortunately, it certainly won’t be the last. In fact, burn centers from around the country have reported that these types of incidents and injuries have skyrocketed over the last year. Several agencies have banned e-cigarettes. In May, the U.S. Navy banned e-cigarettes onboard any of its ships, submarines, aircraft, boats, and heavy equipment. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) also issued a ban in March on electronic cigarettes on any domestic or foreign airline flying to, from or within the United States.

If You Have Been Injured

If you have suffered injuries as a result of exploding e-cigarette lithium-ion batteries, you may be eligible to receive compensation from the at-fault parties for your damages including medical expenses, lost wages, hospitalization, cost of surgical treatments, permanent injuries, and pain and suffering. An experienced product defect attorney who has successfully handled similar cases will be able to advise you regarding your legal rights and options.

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California Personal Injury Blog