Cigarettes blow smoke. E-cigarettes can blow up [in your face]. The very essence of e-cigarettes is that they are supposed to be a “healthier” alternative to the regular cigarette which is full of nicotine and can release dangerous chemicals when smoked. However, recent news has revealed that an e-cigarette is proving to be more than customers have bargained for, and products liability lawsuits have ensued.
E-cigarettes are battery-operated devices that contain cartridges of nicotine, chemicals, and flavorings (such as chocolate and mint). The electronic cigarette turns nicotine into a vapor, which is inhaled by the user. Many feel that e-cigarettes are safer than regular cigarettes, however, the FDA has concerns regarding the true safety of e-cigarettes, and with good reason. The FDA, Division of Pharmaceutical Analysis (DPA) analyzed some of the cartridges from these electronic cigarettes for nicotine content. The analysis showed that the product contained detectable levels of known carcinogens and toxic chemicals to which users could potentially be exposed. Furthermore, it isn’t necessarily the harmful chemicals that consumers should be concerned with, as these e-cigarettes posed other risks that have caused actual physical injury.
E-cigarettes and personal injury
In March 2013 Jennifer Ries suffered second-degree burns on her legs, hand, and buttocks when her e-cigarette exploded after she plugged it in to charge. A Riverside County (California) Superior Court jury awarded her nearly $1.9 million in a lawsuit she brought against the electronic cigarette’s distributor, wholesaler, and the Corona store where she bought it.
Ries brought a product liability lawsuit alleging that the e-cigarettes were distributed in such a way that failed to conform to reasonable safety expectations, while also alleging that those involved in the distribution failed to warn about known dangers.
When using an e-cigarette one would expect to have to charge it but Ries alleged that she (as a consumer) was not warned about the dangers of doing so. If she knew that the battery could explode when plugged in, chances are she wouldn’t have charged it in that way.
Vicente Garza was another victim of an e-cigarette, suffering an amputated index finger and tongue surgery after his e-cigarette exploded in his face. Garza’s attorney has filed a products liability suit against the e-cigarette’s manufacturer and designer, the store where Garza bought the battery and device, and the store where he bought his e-cigarette charger, Vape Fame.
Products Liability suits
The personal injury lawyers at Alpert Schreyer, LLC can help you with your products liability personal injury claim. Whether it is from an e-cigarette, a hoverboard, or even a kitchen utensil fresh out of the box, there are many factors to consider when deciding who to sue and what kind of claim you have. For instance, Ries and Garza sued the chain of distributors and even the stores where they bought the product. Whatever your personal injury is, the attorneys at Alpert Schreyer, LLC will give you a free and comprehensive consultation to talk you through your options. Contact us today to get started.