A seventeen-year-old boy from Nevada had asked his mother to purchase him a vape pen – an electronic cigarette device – to help him stop smoking. His mother obliged, but neither Adams nor his mother could foresee what would happen next. One day while Adams was using his vape pen, the pen suddenly and without warning exploded in his mouth. It wasn’t until the teen and his family reached the hospital that the true extent of his injuries became apparent: the blast had shattered the teen’s jaw, knocking several of his teeth out and even taking out part of the boy’s gum line. In addition, the teen suffered burn injuries around his mouth.
Many vape pens and e-cigarette or “e-cig” devices use lithium-ion batteries as a power source. These batteries are small, powerful, and rechargeable. However, defects in the manufacturing of these batteries or misuse of the batteries can lead to the sort of injuries Austin Adams experienced.
The Dangers of Lithium-Ion Batteries in Vape Pens
Billions of lithium-ion batters are currently in use: everyday electronic devices such as cellular telephones and highly-complicated systems aboard some airline jets are all powered using lithium-ion batteries. These batteries are a favored power source primarily because they are able to deliver a considerable amount of energy given their relatively small size.
Lithium-ion batteries consist of a cathode, an anode, and a liquid electrolyte that acts to permit electrical charges to travel between the cathode and the anode. In addition, a thin separator is present to keep the cathode and anode physically separated. If this separator breaks down, a “short-circuit” can result that leads to a temperature increase within the battery. Temperatures can exceed 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit, which is more than hot enough to cause the electrolyte to catch fire. This, in turn, can lead to other parts of the device to catch fire and/or explode under the intense heat.
More battery-related cases: Battery Defect Lawyers
Protect Yourself from Vape Pen Explosions
There is no reliable way to determine which lithium-ion batteries and/or vape pen devices are subject to catching fire or exploding, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has thus far not issued any recalls for any vape pens, lithium-ion batteries, or other associated products. Nonetheless, the FDA does recommend vape pen users follow these tips:
- Do not charge a vape pen using any charging device other than the charging device that came with the vape pen. Chargers for tablets and phones should not be used to charge a vape pen;
- Do not leave a vape pen to charge in a place where it is covered or could otherwise overheat (such as under a pillow). Do not expose a vape pen to extremely hot or extremely cold temperatures;
- Store extra lithium-ion batteries in a separate case and do not keep these batteries near coins, keys, or other metallic objects;
- Do not leave a vape pen charging overnight and/or invest in a vape pen that features a safety device designed to prevent overcharging; and/or
- Do not use lithium-ion batteries that become wet or appear old or damaged, and do not mix such batteries with new batteries.
What To Do After a Vape Pen Explosion
People who are injured by an exploding vape pen or lithium-ion battery explosion are also encouraged to report information about the incident, including the brand of the vape pen and lithium-ion battery involved, to the FDA.
In addition, these individuals may be entitled to financial compensation if the vape pen explosion was caused by a defect in either the vape pen or the lithium-ion battery (or both). For this reason, it is highly advisable that they seek out a vape pen explosion injury attorney and discuss their rights with him or her as soon as possible.
New York | Brooklyn | Queens | Long Island | New Jersey | Florida
Call us at: 1-800-YOURLAWYER (800-968-7529) | Schedule your free consultation
Have you or a loved one been injured by an exploding vape pen?Click To Get A Free Case Review