Lawsuits Filed Against Distributors of Exploding E-Cigarettes
E-Cigarettes have been marketed as a healthier alternative to the traditional tobacco products. However, recent news reports and lawsuits allege that the devices can cause explosions that lead to severe injuries.
On October 26th, a Florida man was placed into a medically-induced coma after his e-cigarette exploded, causing severe burns to his head and neck. Though this is reportedly the first incident of this kind in Florida, several similar incidents have occurred around the United States and the World.
The incidents, manufacturers claim, are caused when users over-charge the lithium ion batteries that power the cigarette. Despite the claim, consumers have filed product liability lawsuits alleging that the products are defective and have the capacity to cause serious injury. One California woman was recently awarded $1.9 million after she filed suit asserting that an explosion resulted in severe burns to her legs and arms. A similar lawsuit, filed by a Virginia man, maintains that the device exploded while not in use, and stored in his pocket.
The Food and Drug Administration has proposed a rule that would extend its regulation capacity to include e-cigarettes. Recent studies suggest that the device is not safer than traditional cigarette use, and none have been approved by the FDA.