As the use of e-cigarettes has risen steadily over the past few years, the dangers of using those products have began to arise. Initially, there were claims that the chemical flavorings used in the cigarettes were linked to cancer-causing ingredients. Now, in recent months, there have been a growing number of cases of people suffering injuries when their e-cigarettes or vape pens have malfunctioned and exploded.
In late 2014, the U.S. Fire Administration released a report on the dangers of e-cigarettes catching fire or exploding. Up to that point, when e-cigarette use had been relatively rare compared to its use in 2017, there were 25 known incidents of malfunctions causing fire or explosion. Almost all these incidents occurred when the e-cigarette was charging, and it was mostly due to battery failure. Due to cylindrical design of e-cigarettes, the lithium ion battery has its weakest structural point at its ends. When the battery overheats, the pressure inside builds quickly and the device instantly ruptures.
Therefore, the most common danger with e-cigarettes is either overcharging, or using an incorrect USB charger that does not provide proper voltage. Also, many e-cigarettes involved in explosions are imitation products made in China, lacking the safety standards required of U.S.-made products.
A number of lawsuits have been filed in California over exploding e-cigarettes that exploded or caught fire and caused either personal injury to someone, or caused property damage due to the fire. In September 2015, a Riverside County Superior Court jury awarded a woman nearly $1.9 million after she sued the distributor, wholesaler and store where she bought an e-cigarette that exploded and caused her injury.
If you have been injured by a malfunctioning e-cigarette, an attorney can help you determine if you may have a valid claim, and, if so, against whom. Please contact the Hariri Law Group at 619-363-2889 for a free consultation. We look forward to speaking with you regarding your case. *Disclaimer: Every case is fact specific. In order to properly assess your case please contact one of our experienced attorneys.