Writers at on-line resource E-Cig One have compiled a comprehensive list of recent e-cigarette-related explosions, finding changes in the nature and severity of injuries reported in the past few years. They note that the most frequently cited document concerning the issue, produced by FEMA in early 2015, is now out of date, as it does not take into consideration changes in the way that e-cigarettes are used since that time.
E-Cig One managed to track down 168 different incidences in e-cigarette explosions. While the FEMA document they cite states that approximately 80% of explosions take place during charging, the situation has changed with the popularization of sub-ohm vaping and models with removable batteries. And whereas most reported explosions from early 2015 and before did not involve injuries, the majority of reports assembled in the recent compilation resulted in injury or even death.
Recent e-cig explosions more likely to result in injuries
The writers tabulated four different circumstances under which e-cig explosions occur:
- During use (45 incidences)
- During charging (73 incidences)
- During transport, storage, or other unknown circumstances (28 incidences)
- Involving spare batteries for removable battery mods (22 incidences)
67 explosions did not result in injury (though there may have been property damage); however, 101 incidences did result in injury or even death. Several of the injuries involve burns, some severe enough to have required skin grafts. Victims in some cases lost an eye and/or several teeth. Others suffered broken bones.
E-cigarettes are a new product and their potential to cause harm is not yet well-understood. They are, as yet, unregulated and there is no clear data on the long-term impact of e-cigarettes, as compared to smoking standard cigarettes, for example. Technical malfunctions resulting in explosions add to the concerns that some have raised about the products.
Technical problems with e-cigs may be to blame
There are many reasons why e-cigarettes have exploded in the past few years. In some cases, the users themselves may be at least partly to blame if they have operated them incorrectly. However, as the writers note, there are certainly cases where the manufacturers are partly or completely responsible for the explosions. “If an e-cigarette is sold with a USB adapter and no wall charger, for example, it hardly seems fair to blame the buyer if the battery explodes after being connected to a computer’s USB port. It does appear that some e-cigarette products suffer from poor quality control.”
In some cases, users who have been injured by these products may be able to recover some of their losses by filing an e-cigarette explosion lawsuit. For instance, a woman in Queens, NY who suffered severe burns to her leg as the result of an e-cigarette battery explosion plans to file a lawsuit against the manufacturer of the battery, LG, according to her attorney.
If you have suffered injuries from a malfunctioning e-cigarette, the product liability attorneys at Edelman, Krasin & Jaye can review your legal options for seeking compensation. You can set up a no-cost, no-obligation consultation by calling 1-800-469-7429.