E-cigarettes are growing in popularity amongst young people everywhere, and so are the number of burns and product liability lawsuits associated with them.
A growing number of people in New Jersey and Pennsylvania have been using e-cigarettes, or electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS), which has subsequently resulted in a rise in concern about the overall safety of these types of vaping devices. E-cigarettes have risen in popularity amongst young people all across the country, but recent studies have shown that e-cigarette burns and other injuries are on the rise and are a grave concern for parents and all vape users due to the severity of these types of injuries.
There have been hundreds of personal injury cases across the U.S. in which plaintiffs have suffered very serious burns, including from explosions, due to e-cigarette use. Our team of Philadelphia & New Jersey Personal Injury Lawyers has experience litigating these types of cases, including one for a client who suffered third-degree burns on his leg in between his hip and knee that were caused by an exploding e-cigarette battery that was simply resting in his pocket.
If you or a loved one has recently suffered any kind of injury as a result of using an e-cigarette, then you should contact us as soon as possible so we can go over the facts of your injury and determine your legal options. Mattiacci Law, LLC has a long history of fighting for our clients against defective product manufacturers in product liability cases. We have proven ourselves time and time again to hold manufacturers accountable by aggressively pursuing the compensation our clients rightfully deserve for their injuries and damages.
If you or a family member has been injured or needs information, always feel free to reach out to us for a free consultation. We can answer any questions to help you better understand what legal recourse you may have for any type of injury you’ve sustained.
What Causes E-Cigarettes to Explode?
Most e-cigarette devices sold in New Jersey and Pennsylvania are cylindrical devices that look like regular cigarettes, while others resemble a computer jump drive. Most e-cigarettes are powered by lithium-ion batteries, which are located on the opposite side of the mouthpiece. When a user inhales via an e-cigarette, the battery will activate an atomizer that then instantly heats the liquid substance within the device in order to create the vapor.
The big issue with vape pen batteries is when they fail, which the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) has compared to a “flaming rocket”. When these types of battery failures occur, the consumers can then suffer catastrophic and even life-changing burns, as well as other serious injuries.
The USFA describes lithium-ion batteries as having the following three components:
- Cathode (positive electrode)
- Anode(negative electrode)
- A separator film that is comprised of a very flammable liquid electrolyte, which is meant to force the two electrodes away from each other so they never touch.
When an e-cigarette’s battery overheats it can cause this liquid electrolyte to ignite, and subsequently rupture the battery. This is the type of reaction that leads to so many consumer injuries and serious burns.
E-cigarettes have been known to overheat through a variety of ways, including simply being left out in the sun or near a heat source, as well as short circuit effects with the charger. But when it comes to the USFA, they believe that lithium-ion batteries simply aren’t the type of energy source that should be used with these types of recreational vaping devices.
Other incidents can occur because the batteries are simply manufactured in a poor or defective condition.
Despite some developing industry standards there is not a true safety guarantee when using these types of products as manufacturing defects and design failures are always a serious possibility.
Common E-Cigarette Explosion Injuries
There have been hundreds of cases throughout the United States in terms of e-cigarette explosions and fires. Teenagers are often victims. Some of the more common e-cigarette injuries include:
- Third-degree burns
- Facial injuries
- Loss of a body part
- Second-degree burns
- Smoke inhalation-related injuries
- Vision loss
- First-degree burns
- Minor lacerations
The overall severity of e-cigarette injuries usually depends on the exact location of the device when the battery fails and catalyzes an explosion. Injuries caused when e-cigarettes explode while someone is using the device the injuries can end up being catastrophic, and in some cases fatal.
Some of the more common scenarios are when an e-cigarette explodes while in someone’s pocket, which typically leads to leg, groin and hip burns. There are also situations in which an e-cigarette explosion could cause other things to catch fire, like bedding, clothes or carpeting.
With burns, it is common to require extensive skin grafts, debridement, and medications. Burns can be some of the most painful injuries possible. They also often cause significant and permanent scarring. PTSD is also common for those who experience these types of traumatic explosions, which as we all know can be a seriously debilitating condition.
What to Do If You’re E-Cigarette Explodes
If you’ve suffered from an e-cigarette explosion then it’s imperative that you take the necessary steps to protect your overall health, and properly begin the process towards a product liability claim against the manufacturer who created the device.
In these drastic types of situations you should always:
- Receive Medical Attention: You should always be keeping your health as the top priority in these situations, which means immediately going to the hospital or emergency room to attend to any type of burns or other injuries you’ve sustained. This includes following the treatment plan your doctor assesses in the days and weeks after the accident.
- Keep the Device: It is incredibly important that you keep the malfunctioning e-cigarette. This includes the battery and any components that may have come loose at the time of the explosion. It is best to keep all of the materials in a safe place like a bag or a box. If available you should also keep any instructions or packaging that came with your e-cigarette along with the receipt for where you purchased the item, the battery, or any components.
- Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer: An experienced personal injury and product liability specialist will be able to open an investigation of your e-cigarette explosion accident and simultaneously take the necessary steps towards protecting your legal rights. There are always strict statutes of limitations when it comes to product liability lawsuits, so getting in touch with Mr. Mattiacci as quickly as possible post-accident is necessary.
- Make an FDA Report: After speaking with a personal injury attorney, the attorney can help determine whether a report should be filed with the FDA. The FDA has been regulating e-cigarettes since 2016, so a report can be filed through its Safety Reporting Portal. These reports are utilized by the FDA to continue to collect information and hopefully help protect e-cigarette consumers throughout the future.
How Our Product Liability Lawyers Can Help You After an E-Cigarette Accident
All of us as consumers have the legal right to expect the products we purchase to be safe, and this includes a reasonable expectation of safety precautions in terms of any product’s instructions, advertising and packaging. But, of course we all know that there are certain serious issues like design and manufacturing defects, as well as inadequate safety precautions, that can lead to serious injuries like e-cigarette burns.
The experience in product liability cases at Mattiacci Law, LLC helps set us apart within the Pennsylvania and New Jersey districts, and all of us know just how serious and potentially life-altering these types of burns can be. We know what injury victims of all types go through, and we want to help you receive your rightful compensation to make the healing process a little bit more manageable.
When you work with us within an e-cigarette burn or product liability claim, we will do the following:
- Conduct a thorough investigation into all of the circumstances that surround the scenario that lead to your injuries
- Diligently assess all the suffering you’ve endured and potentially will endure
- Vigorously pursue your claim against the product manufacturer on your behalf
You can always rest assured that our personal injury law specialists will do everything we can to hold the companies and entities who are responsible for the manufacturing, designing, marketing and distribution of the defective product accountable for their negligence. Our goal is always to secure your full and fair compensation for all the damages you’ve suffered from as a result of your injury, including the following:
- Medical expenses (past and future)
- Lost income
- Diminished future earning capacity
- Emotional distress
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of quality of life
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Any other costs associated with your injuries
We always offer our clients a contingency fee basis, which means that you won’t pay us anything out of pocket. We will not be paid until we have recovered money in your case. Our initial consultation is always free, so please reach out to us and we’ll be able to start taking the necessary first steps to evaluate your case.