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Exploding e-cigarettes may bring products liability claims

These blogs are posted on behalf of Seidel, Cohen, Hof & Reid, LLC, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the firm or its attorneys. The information presented in this blog is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice.

Doctors working in hospitals' traumatic burn units in Pennsylvania and elsewhere have seen many horrific injuries. Recently, however, these doctors are treating gruesome wounds that are different from any they have previously seen. With the increasing popularity of electronic cigarettes, more patients are suffering from burns and other injuries the devices cause, leading some to consider filing products liability claims.

Like the cell phones reportedly exploding in people's hands and pockets, the personal vaporizers use lithium-ion batteries. The batteries heat flavored liquids which the smoker inhales through the device. However, the batteries can explode when they overheat, and that may happen even when consumers take the recommended precautions. Over an eight month period, one emergency burn center saw 15 patients suffering from chemical burns, flame burns and blast injuries. One man in another state had his teeth blown out, and others suffered wounds to the groin and hands.

While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration acknowledges its authority in regulating the e-cigarettes, they may not necessarily have jurisdiction over the lithium-ion batteries. It is the agency's intent to oversee changes in the product's design. Some patients have also begun to share their stories and pictures of their injuries to spread awareness of the dangers of the devices.

Some photos of the victims show disfiguring injuries and unsightly tattoos from the explosions. Victims have also reported loss of physical functions and soft tissue damage. In addition to the pain and suffering, these people are likely facing medical costs and loss of income during their recoveries. People in Pennsylvania who suffer similar injuries may consider contacting their attorneys. By pursuing a products liability claim, they may potentially receive compensation to help them meet those expenses.

This blog entry was posted on behalf of Seidel, Cohen, Hof & Reid, LLC, and does not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the firm or its attorneys. The information presented in this blog is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice.

Source: kansascity.com, "His e-cigarette blew out his teeth; others have suffered burned groins and faces", Karen Kaplan, Oct. 11, 2016

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