Our exploding product injury lawyers handle cases for victims of electronic cigarettes.
More than 2.5 million Americans are using electronic cigarettes (e-cigs or e-cigarettes), and this number is growing rapidly. The harm caused by these exploding e-cigarettes can be devastating and lead to significant hospitalization, medical care, and permanent injuries.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are well-aware of these problems, but neither agency currently regulates these new devices. But we can help.
Anyone injured by an exploding cigarette should contact our office immediately so that we can start our investigation of your case.
What is an Electronic Cigarette (e-cigarette)?
E-cigarettes, also called personal vaporizers (PV) or electronic nicotine delivery systems, are battery-powered devices that simulate tobacco smoking by producing a heated vapor, which resembles smoke.
First patented in 2013, e-cigarettes have become very popular as an alternative to smoking, including among a growing number of individuals who have never been smokers but who enjoy the many flavors and/or the experience of using e-cigarettes.
How Many Electronic Cigarettes Have Exploded To Date?
Despite the potential for danger, e-cigarettes are currently an unregulated product, so we don't know how many injuries they've caused.
The only statistic available is from a report from the U.S. Fire Administration that found 25 e-cigarette injuries between 2009 and 2014. According to the report, published in October 2014:
- Twenty incidents occurred while the battery in the device was being charged.
- Two incidents occurred during use.
- In two incidents, it is not clear whether the e-cigarette was in use, idle or being charged.
- One incident occurred during transportation on a cargo aircraft.
- Ten injuries and zero deaths were reported by the media.
- Several burn injuries were reported. Two serious injuries occurred when devices exploded in users' mouths.
Why Do Electronic Cigarettes Explode?
The lithium-ion batteries used to power the devices can fail. Battery failures, manifested as small explosions and fires, have occurred.
According to the U.S. Fire Administration, a cylindrical lithium-ion battery is made by winding alternating layers of metallic anode and cathode material separated by a porous film.
The separator film holds a liquid electrolyte made of an organic solvent and dissolved lithium salts. This core is placed into a cylindrical metal can through the open end, and the can is then sealed closed tightly so that the liquid electrolyte cannot escape or evaporate.
All of the electrolytes currently used in lithium-ion batteries are either flammable or combustible liquids. It is this flammable electrolyte that causes the fire and explosion when the lithium-ion battery overheats.
"It's literally an explosion, a super-hot explosion," Dr. Anne Wagner of the University of Colorado Hospital (UCH) Burn Center, told NBC News. "We're seeing deep third-degree burns and almost all of them require skin grafts and these grafts leave a significant scar."
What Types of Injuries are Caused by Exploding Electronic Cigarettes?
Burns from e-cigarette explosions may occur on the face, arms, chest, and torso of the consumer.
Serious injuries to the eyes can also happen from an explosion. These injuries are often serious and can lead to hospitalization, extensive medical care, plastic surgery, and permanent disfigurements.
A California man's electronic cigarette exploded in his pant pocket in December 2016 while riding a city bus, prompting paramedics to rush to him to a hospital with third-degree burns, according to officials.
The 53-year-old man told firefighters, who arrived on the scene in downtown Fresno, that an electronic battery-powered smoking device suddenly became hot and then seemingly exploded, reported ABC affiliate KFSN.
Can I File a Lawsuit for Burns Caused by Electronic Cigarettes?
Lawsuits have been filed by people harmed by electronic cigarettes, including Otis Gooding, of Jamaica, Queens.
Gooding, 31, recently filed a lawsuit after suffering burns to his hand and leg after an e-cigarette caught fire in his pocket. He was taken by private ambulance to a local hospital, where he's in stable condition.
His attorney, Sanford Rubenstein, said he was admitted to the burn unit for treatment and will require surgery.
"His pocket just engulfed in flames. There were sparks. I thought it was fireworks like Fourth of July," John Lee told ABC7NY-TV. "I thought he had a pocket full of fireworks and then I realized he had an e-cigarette."
What Type of Compensation Can I Get in an Electronic Cigarette Lawsuit?
Dangerous and defective product lawsuits seek two primary types of damages.
First, electronic cigarette lawsuits seek compensation for the pain and suffering, fright and shock, scarring and disfigurement, and other types of non-economic claims. The lawsuits also seek compensation for medical bills and lost wages.
In many states, the injury victim can seek punitive or exemplary damages against the e-cigarette manufacturer. These awards can be substantial. However, some states do not allow these damages.
Other states have caps, or limits, on the amount of money that can be awarded in a products liability lawsuit, regardless of the seriousness of the harm or injury.
What to Do After Your Electronic Cigarette Explodes?
The most obvious thing to do is get prompt medical care and attention.
If possible, take photographs of the e-cigarette as soon as possible after the explosion or fire, as well as the contents that exploded out of the unit.
Also, make sure that you preserve the electronic cigarette without making any changes to it after the incident, so that it can be inspected by an expert for product defects. These things will give you the best chance of winning your lawsuit and receiving a settlement.
Are there Time Limits for Filing Electronic Cigarette Lawsuits?
Yes. All states have statute of limitations for filing lawsuits.
The time deadlines vary from state to state, so it is important that you contact an experienced defective products attorney as soon as possible after the incident. This will avoid missing deadlines that might limit your ability to sue the manufacturer or retailer that sold you the product.
Who are the Best Lawyer for E-cigarette Lawsuits?
The award-winning attorneys at Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C. are the smart choice to handle your defective electronic cigarette case.
Our legal team partners with other top firms around the United States to take on the large retailers or manufacturers and their high-priced lawyers to win your case. We have the resources to prove your lawsuit and win you the highest possible settlement.
What are the Lawyer Fees for Electronic Cigarette Cases?
Our law firm will represent you under our no-fee promise. This means that there are no legal fees whatsoever and we only earn a fee if you win a settlement.
We get only get paid at the end of the case and the money comes out of the settlement. We also advance all case costs and expenses.
Get Started on Your Electronic Cigarette Class-Action Lawsuit
Call our defective electronic cigarette lawyers now at (800) 606-1717 for your case.
You can also submit the Free Case Review Form or speak to our intake specialists with the live chat on this page. We will listen to your story and get started immediately with our investigation.