E- CIG Cases

E-Cig Explosions

We know e-cigarettes are dangerous and can explode. The internet is full of videos where this phenomenon was actually caught on camera. E-cigs are powered by lithium-ion batteries manufactured in China that can overheat and catch fire. The government knows that e-cigarettes explode. In October 2014, the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency released a report on Electronic Cigarette Fires and Explosions. You can find a copy of the report here. In that report, FEMA investigated 25 cases of e-cigarette explosions between 2009 and 2014. Of the 25 cases, 20 occurred while the devices were charging, two occurred while the devices were being used, and one incident occurred while the device was being transported. The report stated that e-cig explosions caused building fires, vehicle fires, severe burns and other injuries.

Since the FEMA report, the e-cig market has grown rapidly. Economists predict that e-cigs and other devices that make up the vaping market will reach $10 billion by the end of 2018. The number of explosions has grown as well. In 2015, 42 e-cig explosions/fires occurred. In 2016, over 83 explosions/fires were reported. ECig One is a website that tries to keep up with these incidents - ecigone.com. As of January 2017, 214 e-cig explosions are detailed, broken down as follows:

  • 57 e-cig explosions during use
  • 79 e-cig explosions during charging
  • 44 e-cig explosions during transport or storage
  • 34 e-cig explosions involving spare batteries for removable battery mods

The FDA has responded to this consumer safety hazard by releasing new rules that bring e-cigs under federal authority. In August 2016, new regulations were enacted that focus on public health and require e-cig businesses to register the manufacturing establishments, report ingredients, obtain pre-market approval of new products, and provide health warnings on device packages and advertisements. BUT, none of the regulations address manufacturing guidelines for safety. And the industry is fighting regulation.

Why Do E-Cigs Explode?

Many e-cigarettes use lithium batteries due to their ability to store large amounts of energy in a compact amount of space. However, the inherent characteristics of lithium batteries can pose a risk of fire and explosion. Partial thickness burns caused by spontaneously exploding mobile phones has been described in the literature. The lithium ion battery has separately been described as the "mini bomb in your pocket," due to its known ability to spontaneously ignite. Poor design, use of low-quality materials, manufacturing flaws and defects, and even use and transporting can all contribute to a condition known as 'thermal runway,' whereby the internal battery temperature can increase to the point of causing a battery fire or explosion.

Who Is Responsible When An E-Cig or Vaping Device Hurts Someone?

If we know e-cigs can explode and the FDA, FEMA, and USFA knows that e-cigs can explode, then so do the companies that design, manufacture, distribute, market, and sell these products. Manufacturers have a non-delegable duty to manufacture a product that is safe when put to a foreseeable use. In addition, any entity that profits from the sale of these products has a duty to warn consumers of the explosion/fire risk that these products pose.

In 2015, in the first e-cigarette trial, a California woman was awarded $1.9 million against VapCigs, the manufacturer of the e-cig that exploded while she was driving.

We Have The Experience To Handle Your Case

In January 2017, Matthew Chapman and the Becker Schroader & Chapman law firm filed an e-cig lawsuit against a Macomb, Illinois vape shop. The case arises out of an e-cig explosion that took place in September 2016 when our client's Efest battery overheated and caught fire in his pocket. Our client simply put his mod vaping device in his pocket and it exploded like a firecracker, just like the videos on the internet. You can read more about this lawsuit here.

We are experienced in putting an entire industry on trial and intend to do so in this case. Our client simply wanted a healthier alternative to smoking. What he didn't know is that the Chinese products that were sold to him could explode without any notice or warning. He was airlifted to a burn unit and spent five days in the hospital.

We are currently reviewing claims for consumers who have been injured by an e-cig product or battery. Because of our experience in researching and filing this e-cig case, we are ready to immediately review your e-cig injury claim.

Call us for a free consultation at 618-931-1100. We practice in Missouri and Illinois courts, but we also handle cases nationwide, with lawsuits currently pending in Wyoming, Indiana, and Connecticut.