You’ve probably heard the old gag about exploding cigars. But there’s a new form of unfunny explosions today by e-cigarettes or vape devices — explosions that can injure and even kill, leaving victims to seek compensation with help from an e-cigarette or vape injury lawyer.
Indeed, exploding e-cigs or vapes are no urban myth. According to the United States Food & Drug Administration, e-cigarettes or vapes “can explode and seriously injure people.” The FDA says it “is aware of explosion events and is collecting data to help address this problem.”
Essentially, the problem is with the batteries used in e-cigs or vapes to heat tobacco until its nicotine becomes a smokeless vapor, rather than burning tobacco until it becomes smoke.
Such batteries have been known to explode for a variety of reasons — and in a variety of circumstances.
In any case, the explosions occur without warning. That can happen while a vape or e-cig is being used, while the device is charging or perhaps even when a spare battery, not connected to the device, explodes.
Also, an especially dangerous form of vape device is a box-shaped “box mod.” These are sought by many vape users because they have lengthier battery life.
You may be wondering if you can avoid an e-cig or vape explosion. The FDA advises users to take certain safety steps, though even these may not prevent an explosion of a defective vape or e-cig.
First, the FDA advises not to charge a vaping device with a phone or tablet charger, but only with the charger provided by the manufacturer for the specific vaping device. The FDA also says not to charge a vape or e-cig battery overnight or leave it unattended while charging by day.
The FDA also urges users to replace batteries if the device becomes wet or damaged, and to keep loose extra batteries in a non-metallic case.
Yet even these measures may not protect you against an exploding c-cig or vape and the injuries they cause — injuries which may prompt victims to seek financial recovery via an exploding e-cig lawsuit or vape explosion injury lawsuit.
You may be wondering about the severity of vape or e-cig explosion injuries. Can e-cig or vape explosions kill?
The answer, tragically, is yes.
A young man in Fort Worth, Texas recently became the second person known to be killed by an exploding e-cigarette. On Jan. 27, 2019, William Brown was severely injured when a vaporizer smoking pen he’d bought exploded, sending shards of metal into his face and neck.
As the Washington Post reported, Brown died two days later in a hospital. He was only 24. The cause of death, according to the Tarrant County Medical Examiner, was a stroke caused by the severing of his carotid artery when the exploding vape pen sent sharp metal into his neck.
Last May 5, another man was killed when an exploding vape pen sent two shards of metal into his head and sparked a fire in his St. Petersburg, Florida home.
Killed by that vape pen explosion was Tallmadge D’Elia, 38, who was found by firemen in his burning bedroom. The official cause of death, according to the Tampa Bay Times, was a projectile wound to the head.
The vape pen he used was made by Smok-E Mountain, based in the Philippines. It is not known what brand of vaporizer device Brown used.
As for who else makes e-cigs or vapes, they’ve had a variety of manufacturers around America and the world since they were introduced in 2007.
Even the major brand name manufacturers of “Big Tobacco” have jumped on board, as more and more people — estimated in the tens of millions — abandon traditional cigarettes in favor of e-cigs or vapes. Already, the e-cig market is worth more than $10 billion yearly.
Altria Group Inc., America’s largest tobacco company and owner of Marlboro, is one of them, with an e-cig known as the MarkTen. The second largest tobacco company, Reynolds American, seller of Pall Mall and Camel cigarettes, has its own e-cig named VUSE.
In all, hundreds of models of e-cigs are available.
The manufacturers and sellers of such defective devices can be the target of an injury lawsuit by victims of exploding e-cigs or vapes.
Beyond the two known exploding vape deaths, thousands of injuries are believed to have been caused by defective vape pens or e-cigs.
The consumer website Tobacco Control reports that an estimated 2,035 injuries from e-cigarette explosions and burns were presented to emergency departments of U.S. hospitals from 2015-2017.
That doesn’t even count e-cig explosions which did not cause injuries sufficient for hospital treatment. Tobacco Control believes the injury statistics likely are underestimated.
A man in Idaho suffered second degree burns and lost several teeth after a vape pen exploded in 2017. The previous year, a New York vape pen user suffered third degree burns when a vape in his pocket exploded in his pants.
Many more kinds of exploding vape or e-cig injuries have afflicted many more Americans. These include facial fractures, burns, a broken neck, severe lacerations and paralysis.
Such injuries can be debilitating if not lifelong, with extremely high costs to victims, who deserve justice.
As for why e-cig or vape batteries explode, the U.S. Fire Administration believes the prevalence of lithium-ion batteries in e-cigs contributes to the problem. It based this conclusion on a study of e-cig fires and explosions in the U.S. from 2009-2016.
The federal agency, a division of FEMA, held that “intimate contact between the body and the battery” is “most responsible for the severity of the injuries that have been seen.”
In fact, the agency went on to declare that lithium-ion batteries “should not be used in e-cigarettes. While the number of batteries that explode and catch fire is statistically small, the catastrophic nature of the injuries that can occur warrants the use of another battery technology for e-cigarettes.”
The U.S. Fire Administration also held that “As long as lithium-ion batteries continue to be used in e-cigarettes, severe injuries will continue to occur. As the number of e-cigarettes in use increases, the number of severe injuries from lithium-ion battery explosions and fires will likely continue to increase.”
Lithium-ion batteries also are commonly used in such things as laptops, smartphones, tablets, watches and cameras. Explosions have been known to occur in such devices as well.
Considering the widespread nature and severity of this problem, you may ask who regulates e-cigs or vapes. The answer is that they are under the tobacco product authority of the FDA, thanks to an FDA ruling in May of 2016.
But while the FDA now has authority to regulate manufacturing, importing, packaging, labeling, advertising, promotion, sale and distribution of e-cigarettes, no current regulation, law or code applies to the safety of the batteries inside them. Also, e-cigs are not required to be tested for product safety.
Yet given the thousands of injuries and even deaths due to exploding e-cigs and vapes, the FDA is considering taking on the task of regulating the batteries or electronics in such devices.
Clearly, millions of Americans are at risk, since thousands already have been injured by defective e-cig or vape devices. Is someone in your family one of them? If so, you may be wondering if you can file an e-cig explosion or vape explosion lawsuit to recover your injury costs and to compensate your family for its suffering.
The answer is a resounding yes.
The product liability attorneys and personal injury lawyers of Jim Adler & Associates have decades of experience helping injured Texans get the payments — and justice — they deserve. We stand ready to help you size up your chances for a successful e-cig or vape explosion lawsuit.
Such a lawsuit can claim payments for your losses. These include your hospital and medical expenses, any lost present or future wages due to the injury, and the pain and suffering caused by the injury.
Contact us at our law firm today for a free legal review of your case. Then you can decide if you want to proceed by engaging an e-cig or vape injury lawyer for Houston, Dallas, San Antonio or elsewhere in Texas.
Keep in mind that a majority of personal injury lawsuits are settled out of court, with no need for a trial. That means we can work to resolve your case to your benefit by negotiating with the defendants to reach an out of court settlement.
Also keep in mind that our law firm can help you without charging up-front legal fees. That’s because we work on a contingency fee basis, which means we don’t get paid unless we win your case. And even then, we’re paid only from a portion of the settlement in your favor, not from your own pocket.
So contact us today for your free case review and explore your legal options with help from an exploding e-cigarette or vape injury lawyer. After suffering such a horrible injury, your family’s financial future may depend on it.