As a San Francisco attorney handling exploding e-cigarette battery claims, it feels like there is some kind of epidemic out there. The injuries from e-cigarettes and their batteries just keep piling up. This time, the injury comes from an exploding e-cig battery, where a man suffered first and second degree burns to his thigh and scrotum due to a malfunction in his e-cigarette battery pack.
Although the debate still rages about the health effects linked to electronic cigarettes, David Powell, and his wife, Shaye Powell, say there isn’t much debate about the injuries he got from the exploding battery.
“I went outside to help my grandmother out of a truck, and that is when it actually exploded on me” said David Powell, who still has the pair of shorts he was wearing when the device exploded, melting through his pocket and severely injuring him. “They had to clean out the lithium and everything, they were giving me morphine, it wasn’t working at all.”
David and his wife have since filed a lawsuit, claiming the store was negligent in selling the device, and failed to warn consumers of the potential risk. Their attorney estimates damages at close to one million dollars, and notes that although the battery pack was manufactured in China, that the retailer Vixen Vapors is liable for choosing to stock the dangerous product in its stores.
Since the battery explosion incident, Vixen Vapors has placed signs at its stores warning customers of the potential dangers from batteries.
As a San Francisco e-cigarette attorney, I am getting more and more calls about exploding batteries and representing people who have suffered horrible burns because a battery has exploded in their pocket or even in their face. In California, any manufacturer or distributor or retailer is strictly liable if they have introduced a defective product into the stream of commerce, and someone suffers personal injuries or wrongful death thereby. So, although the dangerous batteries may be made in China, Korea, or Japan, if a U.S. company distributed the dangerous product or if a store or online outlet sold the product to retail consumers, these entities can also be directly responsible and they should be made accountable.
The more I learn about the e-cigarette batteries the more I understand that these batteries or “cells” should never ever have been sold in their poorly protected state. An Eveready alkaline battery is far better protected, and the e-cigarette batteries have only the thinnest plastic wrap that can be worn off by any metal object in a person’s pocket. It seems that causing a short circuit to these batteries is very easy and that short circuits easily cause fires and even explosions. Also, for most of these batteries, there are absolutely no warnings about the dangers of over-charging or of carrying the batteries in your pocket.
Next, there are only a few e-cigarette “mods” or devices that have any type of warning on the device itself, and consumers are largely unaware of the dangers these batteries pose if they are carried in a person’s pocket, or if they are overcharged, or both.
Hello, I’m Claude Wyle, a San Francisco e-cigarette attorney. Have an idea for a topic you’d like to see covered here? Feel free to contact me or visit www.ccwlawyers.com