Los Angeles Defective E-Cigarette Lawyers
Representing clients in California injured by exploding e-cigarettes and vape pens
The growing e-cigarette industry signals a switch from traditional cigarettes, but at what expense to consumers? Unfortunately, the tobacco industry, manufacturers and e-cigarette retailers have created a potentially dangerous hazard: explosions.
The explosion of an e-cigarette can cause severe burns, injuries or even death, and countless reports of these incidents often point to a common cause: the lithium-ion battery. The Los Angeles product liability lawyers of McNicholas & McNicholas, LLP represent clients throughout the state who have sustained life-altering injuries from defective e-cigs and vape pens. Contact us to find out how we can help.
Most common injuries from e-cigarette explosions
A recent study published in The BMJ estimates that between 2015 and 2017, there were more than 2,000 e-cigarette explosion and burn injuries reported in hospital emergency rooms throughout the country. This is only an estimate, however. Currently, there is no official system in place to collect explosion and burn injury data caused by e-cigarettes. The data suggests that incidents and injuries overall are underestimated or unreported, especially since not all injured people visit the emergency room.
Because of how e-cigarettes are used and where they are commonly stored on the person (in a pocket), the four most common injured areas on the body are the thighs, hands, genitals and face. The most common injuries sustained from the explosion of an e-cigarette or vape pen include, but are not limited to:
- Second- and third-degree burns, including flame or chemical burns
- Injuries caused by flying shrapnel when the device explodes
- Facial disfiguration
- Missing and/or broken teeth
- Broken and/or damaged jaw bones
- Lacerations to the face, eyes, mouth and hands
The link between e-cigs and seizures
In April 2019, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning that some e-cigarette users had experienced seizures, especially youth and young adult users. Per the warning:
“Seizures or convulsions are known potential side effects of nicotine toxicity and have been reported in the scientific literature in relation to intentional or accidental swallowing of e-liquid. However, a recent uptick in voluntary reports of adverse experiences with tobacco products that mentioned seizures occurring with e-cigarette use (e.g., vaping) signal a potential emerging safety issue.”
The FDA offers free, downloadable summaries outlining the number of injuries reported. The most current reports available can be accessed here:
Why do lithium-ion batteries explode?
Lithium-ion batteries are used in most e-cigarettes because they are rechargeable and carry a higher voltage than typical consumer batteries. Combined with the heating element inside the device, short circuits may raise the temperature and initiate an explosion. Many incidents report batteries exploding while the device is charging.
Consumers may lack awareness of how to properly use, store or charge the device, and only some devices come equipped with safety features. Additionally, a lack of regulations can allow e-cigarette manufacturers and distributors to avoid displaying a warning for potential explosion hazards.
Manufacturers can be responsible for poor design, insufficient product testing and overall poor quality control measures. A reputable company may take extreme caution and mark substandard batteries. Other companies may purchase substandard batteries and then relabel and manufacture e-cigarettes with those batteries. Something as simple as a wet, damaged battery or loose coins coming in contact with the device in a pocket can lead to an explosion.
E-cigarette explosions are a relatively new problem. With inconsistent or nonexistent regulations and safety standards governing the safety of e-cigarette products, consumers may unknowingly be purchasing unsafe and defective products, and victims may be left paying for injuries out of pocket.
Filing a product liability claim in Los Angeles
McNicholas & McNicholas, LLP will investigate any personal injury you sustained from e-cigarette devices to determine if you have a case, and which parties should be held accountable. Potential negligent parties include, but are not limited to:
Whether facing severe or minor injuries, all consumers have a right to safety. If you’ve suffered any injury from an e-cigarette exploding, you should speak with an attorney to navigate this uncharted territory. Our Los Angeles e-cigarette injury attorneys are experienced litigators in both burn injury and product liability cases, and we’re prepared to go up against e-cigarette manufacturers and retailers to get you the compensation you deserve.
Injured by a vape pen or e-cig in Los Angeles? We can help.
If you have suffered injuries after an e-cigarette explosion or malfunction, contact the attorneys at McNicholas & McNicholas, LLP today. We can recover compensation for your medical bills, loss of income, and pain and suffering. Depending on the severity of the injury, your life could be permanently altered due to no fault of your own. Please call 310.474.1582 or fill out our contact form to schedule a consultation at our office in Los Angeles.