Consumers who sustained serious injuries after an e-cigarette exploded may be entitled to financial compensation. Fire officials across the country have observed a rash of such incidents, often resulting in chemical burns, deep puncture wounds, fires and property damage. At bottom, investigators have found the majority of these accidents were caused by defective lithium-ion batteries, often cheaply-manufactured and delivered into the hands of unsuspecting users without appropriate warnings.
Our Experienced Lawyers Can Help E-Cig Victims
At Lipsig, Shapey, Manus & Moverman, our product liability attorneys have chosen to take this growing problem head-on.
Led by Marc Freund, Esq., Partner, our lawyers are among a select group of legal representatives actively investigating and accepting new e-cig explosion cases. Multiple injured clients have already decided to rely on our legal experience, and we’re spearheading a national effort to hold the negligent manufacturers of defective e-cigarette batteries accountable.
Marc Freund is a seasoned litigator, with nearly 10 years of successful trial experience. The youngest attorney to be named Partner in the 30-year history of our Firm, he recently secured his tenth straight jury trial victory, winning a $1 million settlement for his client. He has been selected to represent several individuals who were injured by exploding electronic cigarettes, and is actively investigating the roles manufacturers, distributors and retailers played in these often devastating incidents.
Now, Marc is fully prepared to fight for your best interests. If you or a loved one were harmed by a defective electronic cigarette, call our attorneys today for a free legal consultation. Learn more about your legal options at no charge.
Injuries Often Severe When E-Cigarettes Explode
Defective batteries are causing e-cigs to explode unexpectedly, leading to severe, sometimes permanent, injuries, including:
- second- or third-degree burns, both those caused by fires and the corrosive chemicals contained in many e-cig batteries
- wounds from flying metal shards of an electronic cigarette
- amputations, often the loss of fingers, teeth or tongue
- disfigurement and on-going disability
Multiple reports have also emerged of users who lost their sight, either partially or totally, after an e-cig exploded in their face. One of our own clients, a 14-year-old boy who was being shown vaporizers at a Brooklyn vape shop, was struck by flying shrapnel when an e-cig exploded in his hand. He is struggling to recover, and has lost a significant amount of vision in both eyes.
While most of these explosions appear to occur during an electronic cigarette battery’s charging cycle, the risk of personal injury remains extremely high. Many people use USB chargers, plugged directly into a desktop computer or laptop, to power their devices, and thus stay in close proximity to dangerously defective products.
Widespread damage is not uncommon, either. A large proportion, as high as 80%, of explosions result in secondary fires and property damage is likely.
Batteries Cause Most E-Cig Explosions
Researchers have long been aware of the potential dangers of lithium-ion batteries. Frequently used in high-end electronics like mobile phones, the batteries are filled with highly-combustible chemicals, and must be kept under pressure to operate correctly. Without internal safety mechanisms, like circuits that prevent a unit from over-heating, lithium-ion batteries would pose a significant risk of explosion.
Thankfully, most applications for the batteries are expensive, and regulated by strict quality requirements. Manufacturers usually include multiple “fail-safe” systems to prevent disaster. Electronic cigarettes, however, are not manufactured to the same rigorous specifications. Nor are their batteries, which are often made by the thousands in manufacturing plants around the world. In fact, several e-cig companies, including industry leaders White Cloud and Mistic, have chosen to move their manufacturing plants from China to the United States over concerns of shoddy production.
That’s a welcome change, although US manufacturers are surely not immune from producing defective products themselves. But regardless of where these batteries are being made, many companies are subject to little governmental oversight.
As of May 5, 2016, the US Food & Drug Administration has won the authority to regulate e-cigs just like other tobacco products. In the coming years, every vape pen, eLiquid, atomizer and e-cig battery will come under the FDA’s rigorous safety inspection process. We can expect quality manufacturing to be a renewed priority for many manufacturers. But these changes won’t come quickly and, for now, it’s still up to consumers to ensure that these devices are safe, and work as advertised.
Vape Shops & Local Retailers Share Responsibility
In the meantime, consumers are being hurt. But for many of these victims, pursuing a product liability lawsuit may offer the possibility of financial support.
Of course, defective batteries begin in the manufacturing plant where they’re made, but the liability for these dangerous products doesn’t end in a factory. America’s strong tradition of consumer protection law is clear: every member of the supply chain shares in the responsibility for distributing unsafe merchandise. That means manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers all have a duty to protect public safety at every turn.
Product liability law ranges far beyond manufacturing defects, coming to include inadequate warnings and instructions for safe use. In our own investigations, we have found that some vape shops aren’t advising customers of the risks inherent to lithium-ion batteries. In fact, many of these retailers are designing and assembling their own vaporizer “starter kits,” with little regard for the acceptable capacities of the batteries used and few warnings for consumers.
When manufacturers and retailers fail in their duties, and people are injured, the victims of defective products have every right to hold negligent parties accountable.