Defective e-cigarettes and vaporizers can cause serious injuries to users.
E-cigarettes, once hailed as a revolutionary way to save people from the dangers of nicotine, are proving to be dangerous themselves as defective e-cigs are causing injuries and damage across the country. Makers of faulty models of e-cigarettes and vaporizers are now facing dozens of lawsuits in several states, including several here in New York.
The suits stem from myriad incidents in which e-cigarettes, particularly those made in China by Sigelei, iPV Technology Co., and Kangertech, have exploded either while being used or while charging. Depending on the timing of the explosions of these faulty devices, some users have been injured, while others have faced fires and property damage.
Imagine something exploding only inches from your face; the shock alone would be incredible, not to mention what the heat, flames and sparks could do to your skin. On the other hand, if the explosion occurred while the device was plugged in, think for a moment about where the chargers for your telephone, tablet and other electronic devices are located. If you’re like most people, these things charge on a wooden nightstand or a desk, and are surrounded by books, magazines, newspapers, mail, and other flammable materials. A fire starting in such a “fertile” location could easily grow out of control in a matter of minutes.
Unprecedented safety guidance from the federal government
The problem has gotten serious enough that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has taken the extraordinary step of warning truck drivers about possible hazards associated with using these devices while behind the wheel or in the sleeping berth of a long-haul truck. The FMCSA’s safety advisory to truckers reported at least 150 incidents of e-cigarette and vaporizer explosions since 2009, many of which involved the “ejection of a burning battery case or other components from the device which subsequently ignited nearby flammable or combustible materials.”
With that image in mind, you can see how dangerous it could be if one of these devices caused a fire in an 80,000 pound, fully loaded commercial truck moving at highway speeds. An injured driver could easily lose control of his vehicle, causing a catastrophic accident. Even if the truck wasn’t moving, if a fire started in the rest area of a semi while an exhausted driver slept just inches away, he or she could be killed.
What you can do if you’ve been hurt by one of these products
E-cigarettes and vaporizers have exponentially grown in popularity the past few years. E-cigarettes are a multi-billion-dollar industry, and there are literally millions of users around the world.
The federal Food and Drug Administration just recently expanded its authority to cover these devices, but the scope of their rules might not remove already defective devices from the marketplace. This means that, if you are an e-cigarette user, you could be injured by a faulty one.
Have you or someone you love been injured by an exploding e-cigarette, vaporizer, e-hookah, e-pen or other similar device? If so, you may be able to bring a legal claim to collect damages to compensate you for medical treatment, lost wages, property damage and pain and suffering. For more information, contact the Manhattan law offices of O’Dwyer & Bernstien, LLP. Call the firm toll free at 212-571-7100 or send an email to arrange a free initial consultation.