Just this month, two men, one in Hawaii and another in Michigan, suffered serious injuries when their respective e-cigarettes exploded. According to news reports, 25-year-old Matt Yamashita of Oahu says he lost four front teeth after his e-cigarette exploded in his face. Around 40 stitches are holding his mouth together. Yamashita will need surgery to have dental implants installed.
Horrific Injuries Sustained
He said the incident occurred at a local park where he went to play basketball. He decided to take a few puffs from his e-cigarette before he went out to play. But just as he took his first big puff, the e-cigarette blew up in his face. Photos of the aftermath showed torch marks and blood on the pavement. Pieces of the burnt e-cigarette were stuck in a nearby fence. Yamashita’s right hand was burning and it was black. He says he also heard loud ringing in both his ears and was spitting out blood.
The other incident occurred in Michigan where a Saginaw man said his e-cig battery exploded in his pocket causing severe burn injuries down his leg. Michael Perez said he saw a “giant fireball” bursting out of his pocket. Perez said he attempted to grab the battery out of his pocket, but it was too late. The explosion left him with second- and third-degree burns on his legs.
Lithium Ion Batteries
Lithium-ion batteries in e-cigarettes have been known to cause explosions and severe burn injuries. According to report released this year by the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA), out of the 243 e-cigarette explosions they looked, 63 occurred during use, 84 when the device was charging and 52 during transport or storage. Also, 44 e-cig explosions involved spare batteries.
A number of incidents involve products that are poorly manufactured with sub-standard parts. Officials at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) say that the explosion was not an isolated incident. Federal officials said they are aware that between 2009 and January 2016, there were at least 134 reported of e-cigarettes overheating, igniting or exploding.
If you or a loved one has been injured by a defectively manufactured e-cigarette, it is important to remember that you have legal rights. You may be able to receive compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, hospitalization, permanent injuries, pain and suffering and emotional distress. An experienced California personal injury lawyer will be able to advice you regarding your rights and options.