Another E-Cigarette User Says Device Exploded, Causing Injuries
A new lawsuit has been filed over an exploding e-cigarette. The plaintiff alleges that the vaping device was in his pants pocket when the battery exploded, setting his leg on fire. The plaintiff was at work when the e-cigarette explosion occurred, the lawsuit alleges. Other reports of e-cigarette explosions have also surfaced in the media.
The product liability attorneys at Parker Waichman LLP have decades of experience representing consumers in lawsuits over allegedly defective or dangerous products. The firm continues to offer free legal consultations to individuals with questions about filing an exploding e-cigarette lawsuit.
According to court documents, the lawsuit was filed last month in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Middlesex County.
E-cigarettes have become increasingly popular in recent years. The portable device use lithium-ion batteries to heat a liquid containing nicotine, flavoring chemicals, and other substances. The heat produces a vapor that is subsequently inhaled. E-cigarettes are largely marketed as a smoking cessation tool or as a healthier alternative to traditional cigarettes.
The lawsuit states that the e-cigarette exploded suddenly in the plaintiff’s pocket and engulfed his leg in flames. The plaintiff quickly realized that his leg was covered in black residue and his skin was severely charred,” the complaint states. “The explosion resulted in extensive burns on his lower extremity.”
The suit notes that the plaintiff’s experience with the exploding e-cigarette is “not a novel occurrence”, citing other instances where consumers were injured in e-cigarette explosions.
“Complaints of injury caused by e-cigarettes continue to rise as the devices become more popular,” the lawsuit states. “These products continue to be placed into the stream of commerce despite being untested and unsafe. E-cigarettes will continue to cause these types of injuries unless and until those placing them in the stream of commerce are held accountable,”
Another e-cigarette explosion left a New Jersey man with second degrees burns to his arm and face. In Camden County, a woman reportedly sustained severe damage to her mouth and teeth. When the e-cigarette exploded, she nearly lost her right eye, the suit states. The complaint also cites another e-cigarette explosion where a New Jersey resident needed a skin graft to address the severe burns on his legs and foot.
The media reported 25 separate e-cigarette fires and explosions since 2009, the U.S. Fire Administration reported in 2014.
The National Fire Protection Association released an update on the issue last April, citing an additional 15 e-cigarette explosions and fires in 2015. Among these, 13 were described as explosions. The remaining two were referred to as ignitions. Twelve incidents caused injuries requiring medical treatment. Five cases led to fires; three occurred when the e-cigarette was being used and two occurred while the battery was charging.
E-Cigarette Regulations and Safety Concerns
Aside from explosions, there have also been concerns surrounding the lack of regulations for e-cigarettes. In response, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) finalized new rules for e-cigarettes and other tobacco products in August 2016. The new regulations require the products to carry a health warning.
E-cigarettes cannot be sold to consumers under the age of 19, and all products introduced after Feb. 15, 2007 must be approved by the FDA.
Additionally, e-cigarette companies can no longer give out free samples.
“Before this final rule, these products could be sold without any review of their ingredients, how they were made, and their potential dangers,” said Mitch Zeller, J.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products, according to the FDA Consumer Update page. “Under this new rule, we’re taking steps to protect Americans from the dangers of tobacco products, ensure these tobacco products have health warnings, and restrict sales to minors.”
Studies on e-cigarettes also suggest that the products are not without risks. In fact, recent findings presented at the American Heart Association’s International Stroke Conference in Houston suggest that e-cigarette vapor may increase the risk of stroke as much as tobacco smoke. Another study, published last December in the journal Atherosclerosis, found that 10 puffs of an e-cigarette produced physiological changes associated with heart disease.
Researchers at Harvard also conducted a study showing that flavoring in e-cigarettes contain a chemical associated with popcorn long disease, also known as bronchiolitis obliterans.
Filing an E-Cigarette Explosion Lawsuit
If you or someone you know is interested in filing an e-cigarette lawsuit, contact Parker Waichman today. Our experienced product liability attorneys offer free, no-obligation case evaluations. For more information, fill out our online form or call 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529).