Exploding E-Cigarette, Vape Pen Batteries: What You Need to Know
No matter what you call them – e-cigarettes or vape pens – they are part of a booming industry in the United States, but one that is increasingly becoming a personal injury concern.
And not for the reason you might think.
The federal food and drug administration is making a move to be able to regulate the products because of many reported adverse effects from the widely available and wildly popular smokeless tobacco products.
According to the FDA, folks from across the country have reported illness or personal injury after using a vape pen or e-cigarette. You’ve probably heard about the illnesses reported – things such as pneumonia and even congestive heart failure.
But did you know that your vape pen or e-cigarette may also present a personal injury risk?
There have been myriad reports about people receiving burns and other facial injuries and worse when the battery on their vape pen or e-cigarette exploding in their hands into their faces.
Evan Spahlinger, a 21-year-old Florida man, was badly burned this fall when his e-cigarette allegedly blew up in his face. The man was treated in the intensive care unit for some time and even placed in a medically induced coma in an effort to help him heal. Family members said the young man suffered severe injuries not only externally, but internally as well.
An Arlington, Va. man filed suit against a vape shop after he said the battery of his e-cigarette exploded in his front pocket, causing sparks to fly and set his crotch ablaze.
The issue? The lithium batteries.
Instances of exploding vape pen batteries have caused so many to suffer a personal injury in Michigan that Congresswoman Debbie Dingell is proposing a law that would allow the FDA to regulate the e-cigarette industry the same way that it does the tobacco cigarette industry. She began pushing for the completion of the regulation after one of her constituents suffered a severe personal injury – burns – after his vape pen battery exploded.
That’s not all: The U.S. Fire Administration report estimates that as many as 2.5 million Americans use some form of a vape pen or e-cigarette.
In the administration’s report, which predates high-profile 2015 incidents, it is indicated that:
- There were 25 incidents of a vape pen battery exploding that were reported to the media between 2008 and 2014.
- Nine people involved in those reported 25 incidents were injured, with two suffering a severe personal injury (burns).
- The majority of the incidents occurred when the battery was charging.
- Because of the shape of vape pens, there is a greater chance that the lithium batteries will behave like “flaming rockets” (the U.S. Fire Administration’s term) when they fail.
The bottom line? There is no regulation, code or law that applies to the safety of the electronics portions and lithium batteries that are in all vape pens.
While many consumer products are required to be tested by nationally recognized labs, there is no such requirement for the manufacturers of e-cigarettes.
Sometimes, the only recourse victims of vape pen battery explosions – people whose lives have been rocked by a traumatic personal injury such as a facial burn – is to file suit against the party who caused the damage.
When it comes to defective products such as e-cigarette batteries that fail and cause an explosion, there are numerous questions about who is liable for medical bills, reimbursement for lost wages, and other costs.
That’s why people who have suffered a serious personal injury because of a defective product like a vape pen or e-cigarette consult with a skilled attorney – someone experienced with cases involving both defective products and personal injury.
If you or someone you love were injured after a vape pen battery exploded, call the personal injury attorneys at Pribanic & Pribanic today to schedule a free initial consultation at 412-672-5444 or toll free at 800-392-4529.