E-cigarette Explosions and Lawsuits
Ferguson & Ferguson
Attorneys at Law
July 9th, 2017
According to the Statistical Brain Research Institute and the Tobacco Vapor Electronic Cigarette Association, e-cigarettes are now a $2.8 billion industry. Not only has the value of the e-cigarette industry risen in the past 9 years, but it is reported that, as of 2015, 6.7% of adults and 12% of high school students have tried smoking e-cigarettes.
However, as stated on LipsigLawyers.com, e-cigarettes are drawing in former smokers and with the lure of a safer experience. But over time, we have learned that smoking e-cigarettes is not only internally harmful, but they can also explode and injure the smoker and those around them. In fact, the U.S. Fire Administration reported that 25 e-cigarettes have caused fires since 2009. Due to this, many lawsuits, including the ones below, have been filed against companies associated with e-cigarettes.
What Is Leading To Lawsuits Being Filed?
Jennifer Ries’ Case
According to the Los Angeles Times, Jennifer Ries was injured after her e-cigarette exploded when she plugged it into her car charger. Ries claims that not long after she plugged the e-cigarette in, the device began leaking liquid that smelled like nail polish remover. Eventually, the e-cigarette ignited setting Ries’ dress and car-seat on fire. Luckily, Ries’ husband poured a drink on her in order to stop the flames from spreading.
Although the fire did not spread, her husband was too late, as Jennifer Ries had been burnt by the explosion. In response, Ries then sued the device’s distributor, VapCigs, the device’s wholesaler, Cartons 2 Go and the store from which she bought the e-cigarette. Her lawsuit claims that the companies were irresponsible for selling a dangerous product and not properly informing the consumer about the product’s risks. She won the lawsuit and the defendants were forced to pay Jennifer Ries’ $1.9 million.
Joseph Cavins’ Case
Another such incident occurred in Santa Ana, California when an e-cigarette exploded injuring Joseph Cavins’ eye and his cheekbone. Unfortunately, the wounds were so severe that doctors eventually had to remove Cavins’ eye.
Due to the injuries, Cavins’ and his lawyers are suing four California e-cigarette retailers and distributors: The Vapor Loft, VapeItUp, Lan & Mike International Trading dba Vapor DNA and Vaping American Products. Like in Ries’ case, Cavins’ blames the defendants and states that the companies were irresponsible by making a product out of subpar materials and not explicitly warning the consumer about any possibility that the e-cigarette may spontaneously combust.
E-Cigarette Explosion in San Diego
In 2005, according to a San Diego NBC affiliate, a San Diego man was rushed to the hospital after his e-cigarette exploded inside of a liquor store. The explosion was so powerful that the debris not only injured the e-cigarette smoker but also broke glass within the store. As a result, the man whose e-cigarette exploded burned him to such an extent that he eventually had to be treated in the local burn unit.
The above incident and others have strengthened various class action lawsuits that have been filed by a variety of law firms against e-cigarette distributors and manufacturers. Like the previously mentioned personal injury lawsuits, these class-action lawsuits claim that the companies associated with e-cigarettes do not properly warn those who use their products. Overall, it seems like due to the dangers associated with e-cigarettes, lawsuits like these will not be going away anytime soon.
Tom Moverman established the Lipsig Lawyers Firm with Harry Lipsig and his partners in 1989; The firm’s focus is in products liability, personal injury, construction accidents, car accidents and medical malpractice.