Exploding Electronic Cigarette (E-Cig) Lawsuits

Electronic cigarettes, also known as a personal vaporizer, is an electronic nicotine delivery device that uses a lithium-ion powered battery to simulate tobacco smoking by producing a heated vapor resembling smoke.

Since e-cigarettes entered the market in 2007, they have had rapid growth in popularity. As of July 2014 it was estimated that 30 million American adults have used an e-cigarette at least once. The CDC reports that e-cigarette use among middle and high school students tripled from 2013 to 2014.

However, the lithium-ion batteries used for e-cigarettes have the potential to explode, potentially causing serious permanent injuries. The explosions can occur without warning while the device is charging, during use when a person is “vaping,” or even when a defective spare battery is not connected to the device. Reported explosions have often involved certain box shaped, or “box mod,” devices that are popular among users for their longer battery lives.

Reported injuries from exploding e-cigs:

  • Severe burns
  • Broken teeth
  • Facial fractures
  • Broken neck
  • Paralysis

Contact an E-Cigarette Injury Attorney

If you or a loved one have suffered serious and permanent injuries caused by an exploding e-cigarette, you may have a potential claim. Please contact Motley Rice lawyers Vin Greene or David Hoyle by email or call 1.800.768.4026 to learn if you have a case.

Exploding Lithium-ion Batteries

In addition to e-cigarettes, lithium-ion batteries are commonly found in a number of high-tech gadgets, including smartphones, laptops, tablets, cameras, watches, and hoverboards. Like e-cigarettes, these devices may suddenly ignite or explode if they contain a defective battery or are made with inadequate materials, causing potential harm to consumers. Read more on lithium-ion batteries.

JUUL and E-Cigarette Health Risks

In addition to exploding lithium-ion batteries, Motley Rice is also reviewing claims that e-cigarettes may be linked to severe health risks. While JUUL and other e-cigarettes have been marketed as “safe” and a better alternative to smoking cigarettes, we are now learning from the medical community that use of these products may result in potentially devastating health effects, including heart and lung problems, seizure and stroke. What makes these products even more dangerous is that JUUL’s advertising strategies allegedly targeted teen users through catchy social media ads and sweet and fruity flavors without informing consumers that JUUL also contains nicotine.

Our Experience

Motley Rice attorneys have experience representing people harmed by negligence and defective products, including wrongful death cases and for people suffering from life-threatening injuries. Through litigation, our attorneys seek corporate governance measures and better safety practices. Motley Rice attorneys have experience representing people harmed by tobacco products and served as lead council for more than two dozen State Attorneys General resulting in the historic $246 billion Master Settlement Agreement with four of the U.S.’s largest tobacco producers. Motley Rice continues to represent people allegedly harmed by tobacco products in ongoing litigation.

Motley Rice attorneys actively litigate complex fire cases involving personal injury and wrongful death. Learn more about these cases.

FDA Regulations

The FDA declared authority to oversee e-cigarettes in 2016 and regulations went into effect August 8, 2016. Those intending to manufacture, import, package, label, advertise, promote, sell and distribute Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS) must adhere to the mandates.

Regulations include restricting sales of e-cigarettes to customers age 18 and older, reporting detailed ingredient lists, providing tobacco health documentation, posting warning statements on packaging and advertisements that state potential risks, among other rules. Read more on FDA regulations.

The regulations also apply to e-cigarette components, but exclude accessories. Components include:

  • A glass or plastic vial container of e-liquid
  • Atomizers
  • Cartomizers and clearomizers
  • Cartridges
  • Certain batteries
  • Digital display or lights to adjust settings
  • Drip tips
  • E-liquids
  • Flavorings for ENDS
  • Programmable software
  • Tank systems

In addition to being monitored by FDA, U.S. Department of Transportation banned e-cigarettes from checked bags to protect against in-flight fires in October 2015.

In October 2014, U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) released the report Electronic Cigarette Fires & Explosions that stated “the shape and construction of e-cigarettes can make them more likely than other products with lithium-ion batteries to behave like ‘flaming rockets’ when a battery fails.”

Read More:

Winston-Salem Journal (Aug. 9, 2016): UNC study finds more youths experimenting with e-cigs
CNN (Aug. 7, 2016): Beginning Monday, FDA will regulate e-cigs, other tobacco products as it does traditional cigarettes
Inside Edition (Jan. 19, 2016): Man left in coma after e-cigarette explosion warns: ‘These things are deadly’
CBS News (Nov. 24, 2015): Man seriously injured by e-cigarette explosion
Reuters (April 17, 2014): Reports of e-cigarette injury jump amid rising popularity, U.S. data show