E-Cigarette Explosion Attorney
When purchasing a product such as an electronic cigarette, consumers have a right to expect that item to be safe and fit for its intended purpose. But many times, be it from a battery explosion, an undisclosed side effect, or some other defect, products can cause untold injuries. In California, entities ranging from the manufacturer, to the distributor, to the ultimate retailer can be held accountable for the injuries caused by their products.
If you have experienced a personal injury from an e-cigarette explosion you have legal options to explore. Our lawyers have worked with clients all over the country to get compensation for an injury caused by e-cigarettes. Manufacturers, distributors, wholesaler, and retailers can all potentially be held responsible for your injury. Free consultations are available with our e-cig explosions attorneys. Contact Bentley & More, LLP today at (949) 870-3800.
E-Cig Explosion Attorney Greg Bentley on The Dr. Oz Show
Top Electronic Cigarette Attorney in the Nation
September of 2015, Mr. Bentley obtained a $1.885 million jury verdict in Riverside Superior Court in a first-of-its-kind product liability case involving an e-cigarette device that exploded while charging, causing severe physical burns and a lifetime of emotional scars to his client.
Mr. Bentley’s expertise has been sited countless news publications across the country. Over the course of his career, Mr. Bentley has been interviewed as an expert for the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, and the Los Angeles Times, among others. In most cases e-cigarette explosions are a result of a faulty or poorly-produced battery. Explosions of this kind often result in injury and severe burns, especially if the individual was carrying the e-cigarette in a pocket or holding it in a hand. This type of physical injury can require months of recovery time and a vast expense to the victim. Greg Bentley has the trial experience to ensure his clients receive just compensation for the damages they’ve suffered.
As the dangers of vaping are becoming more common, more and more companies are working to evolve e-cigarette technology. With new products on the market, more and more customers are filing safety lawsuits. The notable E-Cigarette explosion attorneys at Bentley & More, LLP have the experience necessary to tackle any case related to the vaping industry.
E-cigarette Explosion Resources:
- Is it safe to vape?
- What causes batteries to explode?
- Are E-Cigarettes legal in California?
- Do I need a lawyer?
How Safe are Electronic Cigarettes?
As these are relatively new products, the electronic cigarette industry has little governmental oversight. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) website, only those e-cigarettes marketed for “therapeutic purposes” are regulated by the FDA Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. There is no oversight from the FDA Center for Tobacco Products. The FDA warns that reported illnesses and injuries from e-cigs include:
- Congestive heart failure
- Other health problems
Mr. Bentley describes the current e-cigarette industry as “the wild west”. Without safety regulations or sufficient product testing, e-cigarette cartridges and vaping liquids are putting customers at risk. Unfortunately, many of these products are marketed to younger audiences like teens and young adults.
E-Cigarette Explosion Injuries in the United States: 2009-2016
Smoking Among College Students
Young adults are an enormous part of the e-cigarette consumer base in America. About 10 in every 100 young adults ages 18 to 24 currently smoke, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Cigarette use is substantial among teenagers and young adults for many reasons. They are more vulnerable to advertising that promotes the use of tobacco, for one. Peer pressure is another common cause of a smoking habit. Young adults may also not realize the potential health threats of smoking, or may believe they are young enough to avoid health complications from smoking.
Reasons Why College Students Smoke
College students may be more prone to pick up the habit of smoking than older adults because they are independent of their parents for the first time. They may feel free to try drugs and cigarettes without parental supervision. College students also suffer from a lot of stress and emotion. Smoking may reduce anxiety for students before big exams and during long hours of studying. Smoking and depression often coincide in college students, with those who suffer depression having a harder time quitting than those who do not. Other students say they turn to smoking because of peer pressure, or simply out of boredom.
Who Is Most Likely to Start Smoking?
One random sample of 4,100 college students in America analyzed the demographics of student smokers. It found that 29% of the students smoked: 20% were nondaily smokers and 9% were daily smokers. There were more female than male smokers in both categories. The median age of the smokers was 20 to 21. There were more non-Hispanic, white daily and nondaily smokers than other ethnicities. The second highest were African-Americans, followed by Hispanics. College students most likely to start smoking are those that experience depression and anxiety.
Effects of Smoking
The list of potential negative effects of smoking tobacco and e-cigarettes is long. It includes many increased health risks, such as coronary heart disease, stroke, and lung cancer. Smoking can cause cancer almost anywhere in the body. It also affects almost every organ. It can cause tooth loss, fertility problems, gum disease, vision degeneration, type 2 diabetes, inflammation, arthritis, and a wide range of other health problems. Every year, smoking kills more people than motor vehicle injuries, firearm incidents, alcohol and drug use, and HIV combined.
How to Quit Smoking
Quitting smoking for just one year can dramatically decrease one’s risk of cardiovascular problems. Two to five years after quitting, the risk of stroke returns to almost that of a nonsmoker. Within five years, the risk of cancers to the mouth, throat, and esophagus drop by 50%. The American Lung Association offers many tips for people who want to quit smoking. They include identifying your reasons for quitting, talking to a doctor, and getting help from resources and support groups.
College Students and E-Cigarettes
Many college students and young adults in general believe using e-cigarettes do not have the same negative health effects as traditional cigarettes. Studies have found that as many as 30% of college students have tried e-cigarettes at least once, and 4% have used an e-cig in the last month. E-cig use in young adults, however, could cause nicotine addiction, harm to brain development, and a range of health problems. Damage to respiratory systems is especially common due to the harmful chemicals present in e-cigarettes.
Many college students are not aware that e-cigarettes can explode and cause permanently maiming injuries. They have not heard of product defects or related lawsuits. They also may not know where to turn if they suffer severe injuries because of an exploding electronic cigarette or vaping device. A lawyer from Bentley & More LLP can help explain victim rights and legal options to college students who suffer because of defective e-cigs.
Millions of Americans have switched to vaping to quit smoking cigarettes, but the long-term health effects of vaping are still nebulous and unconfirmed. Despite the hype surrounding a Harvard study that proclaimed 75% of e-cigarette liquids contain the toxic chemical diacetyl, the study failed to mention the levels detected in e-cigarette liquid were a fraction of the levels found in traditional tobacco cigarettes, and there is no link between tobacco cigarettes and “popcorn lung,” or bronchiolitis obliterans.
The reality is that we simply do not know if e-cigarette liquid is medically harmful, but distinct dangers are an issue while vaping. Risks of nicotine addiction for people who use e-cigarette liquid with added nicotine do increase.
How Do Electronic Cigarettes Work?
Vaping devices come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and configurations. However, most vapor devices fall into one of two categories: regulated and unregulated. A regulated vapor device will typically feature automatic shutoff, battery protection, reverse polarity protection, and numerous other failsafe features to prevent injuries to users. Unregulated or mechanical devices do not feature such protection, and users must be extremely careful when configuring such devices.
E-cigarettes function by vaporizing e-liquid that comes into contact with a heating element, typically a metal coil composed of kanthal, nickel, nichrome, titanium, or food-grade stainless steel. Using pre-made coils on a regulated device is much safer than using hand-built coils on an unregulated device, but hazards like device failure, short circuit, or even explosion are dangerous to users. If the resistance of the heating wire is not high enough to handle a device’s battery output, the device can short circuit or even explode.
When a consumer sustains an injury from a product, the consumer may or may not have grounds for legal action, depending on how the consumer used the device. If a consumer purchases a device, uses it as intended, and follows the included safety warnings, there is an expectation for the device to perform safely as intended. If an injury occurs in such a situation, the injured consumer can pursue a product liability claim against the manufacturer.
However, if a consumer disregards a manufacturer’s safety warnings, uses the device in an unintended or unapproved fashion, or alters the device in any way, he or she could sustain serious injuries and also limit his or her options for legal recourse. Anyone who purchases and uses a vaping device needs to carefully read all of the included instructions and safety warnings and understand the risks of using such a device.
Why Do Batteries Explode?
The biggest safety risk of vaping is suffering a battery-explosion related injury. Vaping devices use lithium-ion battery cells. The most commonly used vaping battery is an 18650 battery, a name derived from the physical dimensions of the battery. These batteries are larger and last longer than typical consumer-grade batteries, but they are also more vulnerable to damage. These batteries have a thin protective coating of PVC shrink wrap, but any damage to this coating can turn the battery into a serious fire hazard. A few tips for proper care and handling of 18650 batteries and other vaping batteries include:
- Never use, charge, or handle a battery with a damaged wrapper. Recycle or dispose of damaged batteries promptly in approved disposal containers or at recycling centers.
- Only buy batteries from trusted manufacturers. Never purchase used batteries from another private individual.
- Never keep spare batteries in pant pockets or purses where they can come into contact with keys, coins, or other metallic objects. If you need to carry spare batteries, find a shockproof case to hold them and protect them from other objects.
- Never store vaping batteries in direct sunlight or extreme heat.
- Do not leave vapor devices or batteries charging overnight, and never leave battery chargers unattended.
The majority of battery explosions occur while the batteries are charging, but it is still possible to sustain injuries from defective batteries even if you are extremely careful. When this happens, it’s essential to know your options for legal recourse.
California E-Cig Regulations
One of the major contributing factors to the uncertainty surrounding the safety of e-cigarettes is the lack of official legislation and regulation, but some states have enacted their own regulations and laws for e-cigarette sale and use. California has adopted some of the strictest vaping regulations in the country, limiting the areas where people may vape legally, who may purchase e-cigarette products, and proper conduct for vendors and retailers.
California rental property owners may also restrict e-cigarette use within their properties if they see fit to do so. It is also illegal to use a vaping device in any public building, school, hospital, and public transportation vehicles. If you vape or plan to do so in California, it’s important to carefully review the state’s laws and regulations to avoid fines and other legal penalties.
How to File an E-Cig Explosion Lawsuit
Filing a lawsuit for an e-cigarette explosion is a complex process, but it will largely fall under the purview of product liability law. Product manufacturers must ensure their products perform as they advertise them, contain adequate instructions for use and safety warnings, and do not pose
any extraordinary risk to consumers with regular use. To succeed with an e-cigarette explosion lawsuit, the plaintiff must prove the product in question was defective and caused the plaintiff’s damages. Products can qualify as “defective” in any of three main ways:
- Defective design. This describes an inherent flaw in the design of the product. A defective design means that every product produced using the design is inherently defective and potentially dangerous.
- Defective production. There was a flaw in the assembly or production process that may only have affected some units. The manufacturer will typically halt production until they can identify and resolve the production issue, and the manufacturer will likely issue a recall for affected units.
- Defective marketing. This describes a product that did not include adequate safety warnings or instructions for use. It can also apply to devices that do not perform as advertised.
The plaintiff will also need to provide clear evidence of the extent of the damages caused by an e-cigarette explosion. This can include hospital bills, invoices for specialist treatment and rehabilitation, and the costs of any necessary ongoing medical care. Mr. Bentley and the personal injury attorneys at Bentley & More have the experience to handle the specifics of each unique case.
What Should I Do If I Suffered an E-Cig Explosion Injury?
Bentley & More, LLP is at the national forefront of seeking recovery for individuals injured by defective products, including the first verdict in the country against an electronic cigarette distributed and retailer for the burns and trauma caused by an exploding e-cig.
If you’ve suffered as a result of an e-cig injury in California, reach out to our expert e-cigarette explosion attorneys for help with your case. We have the proven experience to hold e-cigarette industry leaders accountable for the harm they’ve caused unsuspecting customers.
Let us fight on your behalf for your just compensation, and help tell your story, together. Contact us for a free consultation today.