E-Cigarette Injury Attorneys
People should not have to suffer at the hands of a negligent business owner or a careless manufacturer. If you or someone you know has been involved in a vaping incident call our California e-cigarette Injury Lawyers for a no-charge case analysis.
Call (800) 561-4887.
There have been countless injuries in the last few years due to faulty batteries in e-cigarettes. Some of the injuries have led people to experience permanent damage to their hands, face and neck. Not only that, but many who have been the victims of these accidents were young people.
If you've been injured by an exploding e-cigarette or vape pen contact Bisnar Chase's defective product lawyers for a free consultation. You may be entitled to compensation including medical bills and time off work.
What is in an E-Cigarette?
An electronic cigarette is basically a battery-powered vaporizer. The parts that make up an e-cigarette are a mouthpiece, a cartridge or tank, an atomizer, a microprocessor, a battery and possibly an LED light on the end. The atomizer consists of a heating element that vaporizes the liquid in the cartridge. The e-liquid heats up to create an aerosolized vapor, which the user inhales. The aerosol is said to provide a flavor and feel similar to the sensation from tobacco products. There are a number of variations of the device, but they are all more or less made up of the same components. The power source is the biggest component of an e-cigarette, which is most often a rechargeable lithium battery.
California Vaping Laws
Since the release of multiple reports detailing injuries from e-cigarette products, many government and public associations have called for a ban on the alternative smoking device. California has taken a strong stance against vape pens by attempting to ban e-cigarettes altogether. Thus far, this ban is still pending.
The only regulation that has been enforced on e-cigarettes is that users are to only smoke in “smoking areas.” This means that if you see a “no smoking” sign you cannot smoke in that area of the establishment.
Nine states have come to an agreement to ban vape products to be sold or used. The states that are working towards the ban of electronic cigarettes thus far include California, Michigan, Massachusetts, Montana, New York, Rhode Island, Washington, Utah and Oregon.
As of 2019, the laws on smoking in California state that the legal age to vape in California is 18 years old.
E-cig sellers will face legal repercussions if they do sell to minors.
"In California, the number of calls to the poison control center involving e-cigarette exposures in children five and under tripled in one year." -California Department of Public Health
Who is likely to Smoke Electronic Cigarettes?
With the release of e-cigarettes has also come the rise e-cigarette use among youth. Officials have stated that there had been heavy marketing campaigns targeted at youth and young adults with sweet flavors. Many social media influencers were also used in marketing campaigns which many say was another tactic used to lure in young adults as customers.
E-Cigarette Explosion Cases
Data has indicated that e-cigarette smokers are putting their internal organs at risk with usage. What many e-cig users do not know is that they are also endangering their external organs. E-cigarettes with defective batteries have the potential to explode causing people to suffer serious burn injuries.
The explosions have also proven to be fatal.
Twenty-four-year-old William Brown died from an e-cigarette exploding and tearing his carotid artery. Later when Brown was rushed to the hospital it was documented that there was a piece of the vape pen wedged in his throat.
Unfortunately, Brown is not the only person to be killed or injured by a faulty vaping device.
According to Washington Post: “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said 1,080 cases have been reported, up from the 805 reported a week ago. Vaping-related injuries have now been reported in almost every state.”
Fatalities and injuries from e-cigarettes have continued to increase.
Common E-Cigarette Explosion Injuries
The lithium batteries and their chargers have been blamed in several explosions across the United States. Media reports tell terrifying stories of e-cigarettes that explode in users' hands, faces, pant pockets or even luggage.
Common types of injuries caused by these explosions involve:
- Third-degree burns
- Facial scarring
- Cracked teeth
- Injuries to eyes
The Orange County product defect law firm of Bisnar Chase is representing victims of e-cigarette injuries and is continuing to investigate cases where these devices have exploded and caused severe injuries.
Vape Pens vs. E-Cigarettes
Vape pens are a type of e-cigarette. E-cigarettes encompass a variety of devices that can include vape pens, hookah pens or vaporizers. Essentially all are considered an e-cigarette.
Image credit: CDC
Vape Companies that Have Come Under Fire
There are multiple brands that have been deemed as dangerous by Health Organizations. One e-cigarette brand that has come under siege is Juul Labs, Inc. Courthouse News reported that the city of Los Angeles has filed a lawsuit against the electronic cigarette brand stating that Juul Labs purposely marketed its products to teens and young adults by enticing them to purchase “fun fruity flavors.”
Juul has also been accused of deceiving customers over the addictive quality of their product. A study conducted by the Surgeon General concluded that any type of nicotine usage amongst adolescent can be addictive, even if there are only small traces of the substance. Studies that have been conducted on e-cigs have proven that Juul products have a greater amount of nicotine than any other electronic cigarette on the market as well.
Research project manager Jessica Yingst, of Penn State’s University College of Medicine, said: "The Juul users we studied obtained blood nicotine concentrations almost three times as high as most of the e-cigarette users we previously studied.” She made the statement in a university news release, and went on to say: “Juul's nicotine delivery is very similar to that of cigarettes."
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also listed a number of vape brands that have been reported to be linked to illnesses.
Chemicals in E-Cigarettes that Can Harm You
Vapor devices were made as an alternative to smoking traditional tobacco cigarettes. Big e-cig companies claimed that using an e-cigarette can decrease the chances of a smoker developing lung cancer and had promised that the product would not be addictive like regular cigarettes that contain nicotine. Health professionals have argued though that the risks of e-cigarettes pose a greater threat to consumers.
Vape pens not only contain nicotine (which has proven to be addictive drug), but e-cigarettes also include harmful chemicals such as:
"In many cases, patients reported a gradual start of symptoms, including breathing difficulty, shortness of breath, and/or chest pain before hospitalization. Some cases reported mild to moderate gastrointestinal illness including vomiting and diarrhea, or other symptoms such as fevers or fatigue."- U.S. Food and Drug Administration
Why Are Vape Pens Exploding?
The cause of vaping explosions has nothing to do with the harmful substances within e-cigarettes though. Blame for vape pens exploding can be attributed to the e-cigarette battery. These batteries have been involved in multiple injury cases.
In a majority of the cases, it's the device's lithium-ion batteries that explode or catch fire. These batteries are also commonly found in laptops and cell phones. However, with e-cigarettes, the batteries are more prone to overheating, especially when they are used with incompatible chargers. Batteries and chargers are also manufactured overseas where there is little regulation or quality control.
The FDA has yet to regulate e-cigarettes in any way, shape or form. If you or someone you know has experienced serious injuries due to a defective vape pen and are looking to file an e-cigarette explosion lawsuit, contact the Southern California e-cigarette injury attorneys of Bisnar Chase for a free case analysis at (800) 561-4887.
Steps You Can Take to Protect Yourself
You cannot protect yourself from defectively manufactured or assembled e-cigarettes. However, here are a few steps you can take in terms of exercising caution.
- Avoid counterfeit brands. Be aware of where the devices, batteries and chargers are manufactured.
- Only charge your device with the power adapter that comes with the battery.
- Do not plug the device into computers or other USB-capable devices.
- Find a device that has a battery you remove from the atomizer to charge. These appear to be safer than the models that remain attached when charging.
- Do not overcharge your battery or leave it plugged in and unattended.
E-cigarette injury lawyer Brian Chase shares his take on the exploding vaping devices.
Product Liability Laws in California
The state of California enforces a "strict liability" law, which means that if a manufacturer or seller's product causes harm to a consumer they are then liable for the injuries and damages that a person has obtained. There are three parties that can be responsible for an e-cigarette explosion victim's injuries. Liable parties can include the manufacturer, designer or seller of the product. Consumers who have suffered from serious injuries due to vape pens can potentially be compensated for lost wages, medical expenses and mental anguish.
If many people experienced injuries from using the product, a class action lawsuit can be filed against the company.
Below are individual and class action lawsuits filed against e-cigarette companies thus far.
- Bisnar Chase Files Class Action Against E-Cig Maker
- San Diego Unified School District Votes To Join Class Action Lawsuit Against Juul
- Electronic Cigarette Explodes Injuring California Man
- Juul Labs Faces First Wrongful Death Lawsuit Over 18-Year-Old’s Vaping Death
- First Vaping Death Reported By U.S. Health Officials
Filing an E-Cigarette Explosion Claim
If you have suffered serious injuries as the result of a defective electronic cigarette, there are a few steps you can take to ensure that your legal rights are protected.
Hire an E-Cigarette Injury Lawyer
The experienced Orange County vaping injury attorneys at Bisnar Chase will work diligently to ensure that you are fairly and fully compensated for your losses, and that the negligent manufacturers are held accountable.
If you or a loved one have suffered a personal injury due to a defective electronic cigarette, you may be entitled to compensation including medical expenses, lost income, hospitalization, rehabilitation costs, permanent injuries or disabilities, pain and suffering and emotional distress.
We are passionate about the pursuit of justice for our injured clients.
Call us at (800) 561-4887 for a free consultation and comprehensive case evaluation on your injury claim.