Posted in Defective Products on July 5, 2018
Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes), vaporizers, hookah pens, and other such devices have become increasingly popular among smokers of all age groups in the last decade. Often touted by tobacco companies as a “safer,” “non-addictive” way to smoke, e-cigarettes have attracted a wide audience – particularly in younger consumers. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, seven in 10 teenagers are exposed to e-cigarette advertising in the U.S. Discover the potential dangers and health risks of e-cigarettes, as well as what to do in the event of an injury.
Injury lawsuits against e-cigarette device manufacturers have been on the rise due to the devices causing fires and explosions during use. One of the most recent incidents culminated in the first documented death from an e-cig malfunction. Tallmadge D’Elia, a 38-year-old Florida man, died when his vape pen exploded in his St. Petersburg home. The pen exploded and shot projectiles into the victim’s head, as well as started a fire in his residence that burned 80% of his body. Smok-E Mountain was the manufacturer of his particular pen.
Although the first fatality, Mr. D’Elia is far from the first victim of this serious product defect. The U.S. Fire Administration reported 195 such incidents from 2009 to 2016. These incidents caused 133 injuries (38 of which were serious). During initial investigations of D’Elia’s death, Smok-E alleged what many other companies in similar situations have since the start of lawsuits involving exploding e-cigarettes – it wasn’t the manufacturing company’s fault, but the company that provided the atomizer or battery.
The lithium-ion batteries found in electronic cigarettes may contain defects that cause the batteries to explode or catch fire without warning. The design of e-cigarettes turns them into “flaming rockets” when they catch fire or explode, according to the Fire Administration. The majority (62%) of these incidents have occurred while the device was in use or in the consumer’s pocket. While these incidents are still relatively rare, they can and are injuring consumers around the U.S.
The injuries innocent consumers have sustained due to exploding electronic cigarettes and vape pens have been serious and permanent in many cases. Explosions and fires are particularly prone to causing catastrophic injuries such as disfiguring burns, traumatic amputations, and puncture wounds and lacerations from shrapnel. Injuries to the eyes, face, and eardrums are also common in explosions. Permanent scarring, disfigurement, and psychological damage can plague victims of exploding e-cigarettes. These victims have the right to pursue compensation.
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries because an e-cig or vape pen exploded or caught fire, review your rights with help from a product liability attorney in your area. Product liability laws state that product manufacturers will be liable for the injuries and damages their defective or dangerous products cause. You might be eligible for financial compensation from the creator of the device, the lithium-ion battery manufacturer, the company that sold you the device, and/or other parties after an e-cig explosion.
Explosions aren’t the only potential risk from using e-cigarettes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that e-cigarettes are not safe for pregnant women, youth and young adults, or those who don’t currently use other tobacco products. The CDC finds that the aerosol users breathe in and exhale from e-cigarettes can contain harmful substances, including cancer-causing ingredients and heavy metals (including lead).
It may be possible to pursue a claim against an e-cigarette manufacturer for a defective product, false advertising, breach of warranty depending on the circumstances of an injury or illness. Talk to an attorney near you for more information about a particular case involving a dangerous e-cigarette, e-hookah, vape pen, mod, or other such device. A product liability lawyer can help you understand your rights.