Electronic cigarettes (also known as e-cigarette) have become widely popular since they have hit the market as an alternative to cigarette smoking. Because e-cigarettes do not generally offend others in public spaces, people addicted to nicotine are able to enjoy their freedom of choice in smoking where cigarette smoking is not allowed. Celebrities have helped e-cigarette makers market their products as “cool,” whereas cigarettes are considered taboo for well-known actors to endorse. This has led to a boom in e-cigarette sales and use.
But as with any man made product, e-cigarettes have potential for defects that can harm users. E-cigarettes have been found to explode due to defective design and how batteries power these devices. As explosions have occurred across the country and e-cigarette smokers have been injured, more and more of these injured users are turning to personal injury lawyers for help filing lawsuits against manufacturers.
There are actually multiple dangers that have caused e-cigarettes to seriously injure smokers. The battery pack attached to e-cigarette devices is the most common culprit, leading to explosions. New York, California and Florida residents are among those who have been injured in such explosions and subsequently filed lawsuits against the e-cigarette makers.
Other hazards include these explosions causing the e-cigarette to start a fire. Real damage and injury has been inflicted upon property and people near the devices when they explode. These lawsuits are expected to continue until manufacturers re-engineer their products, which is a slow process.
A Federal Emergency Management Association / FEMA report clarified that the majority of e-cigarette explosions are the result of the battery being charged. Alternative chargers not sold with the original battery being charged are usually part of the explosive problem. Around 12 percent of e-cigarette combustion cases have been reported by FEMA as having occurred when the e-cigarettes are being charged or stored, likely due to the excessive power of lithium batteries in these small devices.
For most of the explosions, the battery seal at the end of the battery first ruptures. The pressure that is contained within the e-cigarette cylinder then builds to an excessive amount that the cylinder cannot contain, causing the cylinder to explode. This explosion is usually at one of the ends of the cylinder. The explosion can then propel the battery and container parts across the room dangerously, just as a bullet would be fired from a gun or a small rocket is launched upward.
Electronic cigarette users have since been warned to only use a power adapter or USB port provided with the product and its battery in the original packaging. It is hoped that this warning will prevent even more explosions than are continuing to be seen across the country.
E-cigarettes are not as safe as they seem at first glance. People who smoke these devices are not smoking a healthier cigarette, instead using one with different risks and its own set of potential health and injury circumstances.
Some hazards of using e-cigarettes include:
If you have been injured in an e-cigarette explosion, other device malfunction or your property has been damaged due to a fire resulting from one of these smoking devices, you need an experienced product liability and personal injury attorney to help you develop your legal claim. Manufacturers can be held liable for product malfunction, just as other e-cigarette users have successfully taken the devices’ makers to court.
To discuss your case with an attorney in Phoenix, call Hirsch & Lyon Accident Law at 602.254.2701 for a free, no-obligation consultation.
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