Have you or a loved one been injured by an exploding lithium ion battery in a vaping or e-cigarette product? When batteries inside vaping products overheat and explode, users can be seriously injured and the consequences can be severe.
After a vape explosion, you may have permanent scarring and may need plastic surgery, dental work, and extensive rehabilitation. If an exploding battery caused your injury, you may be entitled to seek compensation for your injuries, including your medical expenses, lost earnings from being unable to work, and pain and suffering.
Why Choose the Lithium Ion Battery Injury Lawyers at Adamson Ahdoot For Your Vape Injury Case?
The Los Angeles product liability lawyers at Adamson Ahdoot, LLP have successfully handled a number of exploding vape battery cases against manufacturers, distributors, and retailers of lithium ion battery products, including Samsung.
We have recovered millions of dollars for our clients and aggressively fight to obtain the justice they deserve. We offer a free consultation to review and discuss your legal rights and provide an experience-based opinion of your case. If we represent you in your personal injury claim, we will not charge any fees unless we recover money for you.
Vaping Product Explosions Cause Very Real, Very Serious Injuries
In June 2019, the Washington Post ran a story of a 17-year-old who turned to electronic cigarettes to quit smoking. After a vaping product exploded in his mouth, he was rushed to Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City, where doctors were shocked as his cracked jaw, missing teeth, and hole in his chin. A surgeon who operated on the boy said the injury looked “kind of like a close-range gunshot wound.” The New England Journal of Medicine also reported on the concerning injury.
Unfortunately, this disturbing incident was not an isolated case. From 2015-2017, there were an estimated 2035 e-cigarette explosion and burn injuries presenting to US hospital emergency departments, according to the British Medical Journal. Explosions can occur while vaping devices are being plugged into charging devices, while being used, or while being stored. Along with physical injuries like broken jaws, burn injuries, and knocked out teeth, explosions can lead to fires which can cause devastating property damage. Explosions while driving can even cause serious car accidents which can lead to injury or death.
What are “Vapes” – also known as Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS)?
The FDA officially calls non-combustible, battery powered vaping products “electronic nicotine delivery systems” – or ENDS. These may also be referred to as:
- Electronic cigarettes
- Portable vaporizers
- Vaping devices
- Vape pens.
Some products look similar in appearance and size to conventional cigarettes or cigars, while others look like USB flash drives, pens, or even smart watches. Vape injuries occur when ENDS products fail. Batteries may explode violently due to a short circuit generating excessive heat which in turn creates internal pressure until the battery ruptures.
While some manufacturers take steps to test their products and incorporate battery fail-safes, not all do. Many vaping devices do not have buttons or switches, making users powerless to turn them off when they overheat. Many products sold on Amazon are “copycat” devices made to look like brand-name devices but without precautions or quality control. They may be sold by third-party sellers who are peddling poorly made, fake products.
What Causes Vaping Devices to Explode?
Portable vaping products rely on small but powerful batteries to power a heating coil. The coil quickly warms up the liquid, which turns into the vapor which is inhaled. Lithium-ion batteries, a popular choice for their small size and lightweight, are typically used. However, these batteries can overheat and explode.
The FDA says on their website, “until all vapes and vape batteries conform to strong and consistent safety standards, your best protection against vape battery explosions may be knowing as much as possible about your device and how to properly handle and charge its batteries.” This statement acknowledges that vapes and vape batteries do not yet conform to strong or consistent safety standards. To avoid battery explosions, the FDA recommends that consumers:
- Never charge a device with a phone or tablet charger (even if compatible)
- Do not charge a vape device overnight, or charge it unattended
- Consider using vape devices with safety features that protect against overcharging
- Replace batteries if they get damaged or wet
- Keep vape batteries away from contact with coins, keys, or other metal objects.
There is currently very little regulation of the vaping industry. In 2019, the FDA provided guidance to manufacturers who made and sold ENDS, recommending manufacturers provide information about the kinds of batteries used and how to address explosions, fires, and overheating. Unfortunately, this does not always happen. Multiple parties may be liable for vape battery explosions and injuries.
What Kind of Injuries Occur from Exploding Vape Products?
Exploding vape products often cause injuries to the hands, lips, teeth, mouth, or face, which can can cause significant pain and emotional suffering, including:
- Chemical burn injuries
- 1st, 2nd, and 3rd degree burns
- Blast injuries
- Nerve injuries
- Broken bones
- Facial fractures
- Dental injuries.
Vaping injury claims can be extremely complex – even more than other defective product claims. A common theme in product liability websites is resellers, manufacturers, and consumers blaming each other. For example, Sony, a battery manufacturer, warns consumers that cylindrical lithium-ion VTC battery cells (“Li-Ion Cells”) are made for products like power tools and not intended for use (or tested) in eCigs or vape pens. A skilled and experienced personal injury lawyer is critical to obtaining fair compensation in a claim.
What to Do Following a Vape Battery Explosion
If a vaping product exploded causing injury, it is critical to get medical care immediately. You should preserve evidence, including the device and proof of purchase.
- The name of the vape device manufacturer
- The brand name, model, & serial number of the vape device
- The brand name and version of the battery you used
- Where the vape device and battery was purchased
- Whether the item was used differently than intended by the manufacturer
- Whether the item was modified in any way.
You should report the injury to the FDA, and contact a lawyer. Do not accept any compensation from the manufacturer or reseller without first talking to a lawyer.
Contact A Vape Explosion Lawyer at Adamson Ahdoot LLP Today
If you have been injured by a vape device, your claim may be denied or rejected without a competent and experienced lawyer. Adamson Ahdoot LLP continues to monitor incidents of vaping device explosions. If you or a loved one have been injured by a lithium ion battery explosion, contact us to discuss your potential case. Our Los Angeles product liability lawyers will review your incident and determine your rights to file a lawsuit for your injuries. Because you have only a limited window of time to pursue a claim, you should not wait. Call us today to speak with a lawyer.