There were two major e-cigarette explosions, one in Fulton County, Georgia, and another in Brooklyn, N.Y., which caused severe injuries. According to media reports, one of the incidents was reported in Fulton. Kyle Petty’s wife, Melody, said her husband was looking at his phone when the batteries of the e-cigarette in his pocket exploded.
Severe and Catastrophic Injuries
Petty was apparently not even smoking the e-cigarette. The device did not heat up or give any warning that anything was wrong. He suffered second- and third-degree burn injuries. The China-made batteries that exploded were barely six months old.
In another incident in New York City, a 14-year-old boy was left completely blind in his left eye after an e-cigarette exploded in his hands and face. He also suffered permanent damage to his hands in addition to the eye injury. The boy, Leor Domatov, said the explosion occurred at a kiosk in the local mall where he was testing out one of the devices. It is illegal to sell these devices to minors under New York state and city laws.
It’s the electronic cigarettes that are powered by lithium-ion batteries that frequently combust or explode. Lithium batteries are also found in laptops and cell phones. But, with e-cigarettes, the batteries are especially prone to overheating, particularly if they are used with incompatible chargers. Often, these products are manufactured in China using substandard parts. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which oversees tobacco products, does not currently regulate e-cigarettes. When an e-cigarette battery malfunctions, the injuries can be horrendous including burns on the hands and face, fractured bones and even loss of eyesight.
Injuries and Damages
The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) reported that there were 25 e-cigarette injuries between 2009 and 2014. The report also noted that 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 explodes or ignites. The agency also estimated that more than 2.5 million Americans used e-cigs in 2014, a practice known as vaping. The industry says the mishaps involving e-cigs have increased as the number of people who have switched from smoking to vaping has grown dramatically in the last two years.
If you or a loved one has been injured as the result of a malfunctioning e-cigarette battery, an experienced California e-cigarette explosion lawyer can help you seek and obtain compensation for damages including medical expenses, lost income, hospitalization, permanent injuries and pain and suffering. Companies that manufacture dangerous and defective products must be held accountable.