Dozens of vapers have been severely injured by exploding e-cigarettes. In most cases, these accidents come down to defective lithium-ion batteries, incorporated in e-cigs or sold individually, that often come without critical fail-safe mechanisms. Manufacturing defects are common, as hundreds of companies flood the US market with cheap, poorly-made batteries. It’s a major public safety issue, one that some vape shops aren’t warning their customers about. But consumers are starting to fight back.
Our E-Cig Lawyers Fight For Explosion Victims
In courts across the country, injured vapers have begun filing e-cig explosion lawsuits, hoping to secure the financial compensation they need to recover. At least one lawsuit has already reached a resolution, with a California woman winning almost $2 million for the severe chemical burns she sustained after an electronic cigarette violently exploded in her car. Legal experts believe dozens, if not hundreds, of other consumers may also have viable cases.
But few attorneys have chosen to focus on this important issue. While class actions involving the health risks of vaporizing, and the chemical ingredients in e-cigs, are being actively pursued by numerous law firms, a smaller number of lawyers have decided to take on the safety risks of vaping devices. Banville Law, sponsor of TheProductLawyers.com, is among this select group of product liability law firms.
Taking On Negligent E-Cigarette Manufacturers
In collaboration with the experienced personal injury team at Lipsig, Shapey, Manus & Moverman, our attorneys are spearheading a national effort to hold negligent electronic cigarette manufacturers accountable for the quality of their batteries. We have begun investigating e-cig explosions nationwide and are now accepting new cases in an effort to protect the best interests of vapers.
Lipsig’s e-cig lawyers are being led by Marc Freund, Esq., an attorney with years of proven trial experience. Over the firm’s three-decade experience, the lawyers at Lipsig, Shapey, Manus & Moverman have secured more than $500 million in compensation for their clients. Marc has been instrumental in many of those successful jury verdicts and settlements, recovering favorable decisions for individuals injured across a wide range of circumstances.
Today, Marc is actively representing multiple clients who sustained severe injuries after an e-cig suddenly exploded, investigating the battery manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers whose potential negligence may have contributed to these accidents.
We’re ready to protect your best interests. In a free consultation, you’ll learn more about your legal options and rights, all at no charge and no obligation.
Why Are Electronic Cigarettes Blowing Up?
National news stations have covered a rash of damaging e-cig explosions, describing sudden blasts, wide-ranging fires, and severe injuries. But what’s at the root of these serious accidents? Fire marshals across the nation are in agreement, as a 2014 review from the US Fire Administration made clear, that these explosions all come down to the lithium-ion batteries used to power electronic cigarettes.
Defective Batteries Overheat, Short-Circuit
We believe that some of these batteries are being manufactured improperly, leading to defects that can cause overheating or a short-circuit. Many major corporations have had trouble with their own versions of the battery. In 2005, Dell Computers recalled around 22,000 laptops, and then went on to recall more than 4 million more the next year, after a half-dozen of the computers overheated and ignited unexpectedly, according to the American Chemical Society. It all came down to impurities, metal particles, that made their way into the laptops’ batteries during the manufacturing process.
Dell, of course, is a major company, with numerous safety checks in place to make sure that these kinds of problems don’t occur. The batteries manufactured for Dell computers, for that matter, are extremely sophisticated pieces of technology, with multiple internal fail-safe systems to prevent overheating, overcharging and short-circuits. But even these wonders of modern engineering aren’t enough to prevent serious risks from becoming a devastating reality.
Experts like Venkat Viswanathan, a mechanical engineering professor at Carnegie Mellon University, say the lithium-ion batteries used in electronic cigarettes aren’t usually manufactured to the same exacting standards. Speaking to Wired in February 10, 2016, Viswanathan explained how some e-cig batteries are just “cheap,” produced without “the luxury of using sophisticated management systems.” Without expensive microprocessors or circuits to stop a short-circuit, electronic cigarettes can quickly overcharge and explode with no notice.
Demand Accountability From The E-Cig Industry
Vapers don’t have to put up with inferior products. In every state, product liability laws hold manufacturers to a high standard. Under these laws, consumers who are injured by defective products can hold the manufacturers responsible in a civil lawsuit. But this responsibility to public safety only begins with manufacturers. In many cases, any company involved in the distribution of a defective product, including wholesalers and retail establishments, can also be held accountable for placing a dangerous product in the hands of unsuspecting consumers.
Product liability doesn’t just stop at manufacturing defects, either. When products, like batteries, have known, but reasonable, risks, manufacturers and retailers are required to warn their customers about those risks. In our own experience, many vape shops aren’t living up to this obligation.
That’s probably why many e-cig users have already chosen to file product liability lawsuits over defective batteries already, and many more are considering the option. The US Food & Drug Administration is stepping up its efforts to control poor-quality manufacturing in the vaporizer industry, too.
Vapers Need High-Quality Batteries Now
On May 5, 2016, the FDA announced a broad initiative intended to rein in the safety issues that have marred the e-cig industry’s decade-long rise from novelty to $5 billion business.
Using expansive new authority, the FDA will now regulate electronic cigarettes just like traditional smokes, requiring manufacturers to apply for approval based on the results of rigorous safety and quality testing. The agency’s new regulations aren’t just about sales to minors or the chemical contents of eLiquids, although that’s where most media attention has focused.
From cig-a-likes and vape pens to complex mechanical mods, the FDA is reviewing the technology inside these devices with a fine-tooth comb. That means batteries will also go under the microscope, and not just the batteries specifically packaged alongside e-cigs. In fact, any lithium-battery that you could “reasonably expect” to be used in an electronic cigarette will be regulated as a “component or part” of a tobacco product. Significant safety improvements will surely follow, but vapers are going to have to wait for a while. The government is giving e-cig manufacturers anywhere from one to two years to file their approval application papers. It’s likely defective vape batteries will stay on the shelves across the country for years to come.
In the meantime, individual consumers are left to demand accountability themselves. We want to help. If you were injured in an e-cig explosion, our lawyers want to know about it. Contact the product liability attorneys at Banville Law today, for absolutely no charge, to learn more about filing a defective battery lawsuit.
More Information On E-Cigarette Explosions