In May, a 38-year-old man in Florida died from an e-cigarette malfunction. When the vape pen exploded, it sent two projectiles into his head and caused a small fire in his home. An autopsy confirmed the cause of death as a “projectile wound of head.” He also suffered burns on 80 percent of his body.
Only a few days after this death, an 18-year-old man in Michigan suffered severe burns when the e-cigarette batteries he was carrying exploded.
In 2017, the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), a division of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), issued a report covering the periods 2009-2016. They reported that there were at least 195 incidents in which an electronic cigarette exploded or caught fire, resulting in 133 injuries, 38 of which were severe.
It attributed the number of severe injuries caused by e-vape explosions to a design flaw of using cylindrical lithium-ion batteries in cylindrical tubes. The USFA found that battery failures generate increased pressure that “shoots” batteries out of the tubes like “rockets.” The report found that the explosions usually occur suddenly, “and are accompanied by loud noise, a flash of light, smoke, flames, and often vigorous ejection of the battery and other parts.”
The report said, “No other consumer product places a battery with a known explosion hazard such as this in such close proximity to the human body. It is this intimate contact between the body and the battery that is most responsible for the severity of the injuries that have been seen. While the failure rate of the lithium-ion batteries is very small, the consequences of a failure, as we have seen, can be severe and life-altering for the consumer.”
No regulations exist relating to the safety of the electronics or batteries of e-cigarettes, although they are now being considered by the Food and Drug Administration.
Hundreds of lawsuits have been filed across the United States by plaintiffs claiming they were hurt in explosions and fires caused by e-cigarette batteries.
The pens in question are manufactured in the Philippines and distributed by Smok-E Mountain.
As personal injury attorneys, you may acquire a case resulting from an e-cigarette burn. You may want to consider communicating the problem to your followers on your social media platforms and on your website. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has an online guide for quitting smoking.
If you need help developing marketing materials related to e-cigarette wrongful death and personal injury damages, give us a call at Group Matrix. Our staff of experienced professionals can help you create a successful digital and/or traditional marketing strategy.
Group Matrix Blog – July 4, 2018 – by Sharon Bowles