E-Cigarettes are Linked to Burns and Facial Injuries, Resulting in Spate of Lawsuits
People who don’t smoke may not know much about e-cigarettes. Even those who use them may be unaware of the dangers of the devices which have resulted in a spate of injury lawsuits brought against manufacturers and retailers.
E-cigarettes are electronic cigarettes. They are battery-operated devices that deliver nicotine with flavorings as well as other familiar chemicals to smokers in vapor form instead of smoke. They can be manufactured to look like traditional cigarettes or cigars or other devices like pens. There are hundreds of brands on the market at present.
E-cigarettes are promoted as a safer alternative to smoking, but any potential health benefits compared to traditional cigarettes are as yet untried and untested.
Alarmingly, there have also been a number of cases of e-cigarettes exploding and harming users.
Recently, a jury in California awarded $1.9 million to a woman who was seriously burned by an e-cigarette. Jennifer Ries filed her lawsuit in June 2013 against VapCigs, a distributor, the wholesaler La Verne Car Wash Inc., and the e-cigarette shop The Tobacco Expo.
The battery of the e-cigarette exploded when it was being charged in the woman’s car, sending metal shrapnel flying through the air and setting fire to the woman’s seat and dress. She received second-degree burns to her legs, buttocks and hands, reported Law360.com.
Recently another lawsuit was brought in California by Vicente Garza, a man from Bakersfield, who was getting ready for bed when he used an electronic cigarette.
Shortly after lifting the e-cigarette to his mouth, pushing the vapor button and inhaling, it exploded close to his face, badly burning his mouth and his left hand. Doctors later amputated Garza’s left index finger, and he was taken to a local hospital for immediate surgery on his tongue after the incident last month. It left him facing serious difficulties eating.
Gregory L. Bentley, an attorney for Garza, who also represented Jennifer Ries, has filed a product liability lawsuit against the e-cigarette’s manufacturer and designer, Flawless Vapes & Supplies, LLC; the store where he bought the battery and device, Luxor Cafe & Vape Lounge; and the store in his hometown where he bought his e-cigarette charger, Vape Fame.
Another lawsuits was filed over e-cigarettes in California in the same month. Soccer player Daniel Califf alleged he was using an e-cigarette when it exploded close to his face, blasting a large hole in his cheek. The lawsuit says it gave the soccer player a concussion and set the room on fire.
The Los Angeles Times warned the e-cigarette industry is poorly regulated. It’s a disaster waiting to happen.
Last year the U.S. Fire Administration warned e-cigarettes use lithium ion batteries and the flammable liquid is unstable and can explode when they overheat, such as when they have been over-charged.
Our personal injury lawyers help people who have been harmed by a wide range of dangerous products including drugs and medical devices to faulty cars. Call us at 757.455.0077 for a free consultation if you have been hurt by an e-cigarette or another dangerous device.