A woman suffered burn injuries over about 20% of her body after a vape device exploded in her backpack at a Yucaipa Rite Aid store. According to a KTLA news report, the incident occurred on the evening of Dec. 31 at the store in the 34400 block of Yucaipa Boulevard. Fire officials said they got multiple reports of a “female on fire” at the store. While responding to the incident, fire officials said they got updated information that the fire was caused by an e-cigarette that exploded in the woman’s backpack.
Firefighters had found the woman suffering from first- and second-degree burn injuries on her back, covering about 20% of her body. The woman was transported to a burn center for treatment. KTLA reported that images from the scene showed a backpack with a hole burned through it, as well as several pieces of charred clothing.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the woman who was reportedly severely injured in this e-cigarette explosion. We wish her the very best for a speedy and complete recovery.
One study published in 2018 estimated that more than 2,000 e-cigarette explosions and burn injuries sent users to U.S hospital emergency departments from 2015 -2017. That doesn’t even begin to describe how dangerous these devices can be though. In February 2019, a Texas man died after his e-cigarette exploded and shrapnel tore through his carotid artery. About a year ago, a Florida man was also found dead after his e-cigarette exploded during use, sending a projectile into his head. There have been hundreds of other reports nationwide where similar incidents have occurred causing serious burn injuries.
Serious Injuries and Long-Term Consequences
Experts and safety advocacy groups have, for a long time, raised questions about the health effects of e-cigarette use. The risk of e-cigarette explosions and fires that cause serious injuries must not be taken lightly. In a 2016 letter published in the New England Journal of Medicine, doctors at the University of Washington Medical Center described 15 patients who had suffered from e-cigarette explosions in less than a year.
Most of these incidents involved “flame burns” and almost 30% of the patients endured “blast injuries” leading to tooth loss, scarring and extensive loss of soft tissue. The burn injuries also required wound care and skin grafts, doctors said. These descriptions are consistent with what our California personal injury lawyers have seen with injured clients who have suffered similar injuries as a result of e-cigarette explosions.
In such cases, the manufacturers of these dangerous and defective products can be held financially responsible for the damages caused. Injured victims can seek compensation for damages such as medical expenses, lost income, hospitalization, cost of skin graft surgery, permanent injuries, scarring and disfigurement, and past and future pain and suffering.