Can You Sue for Injuries Caused by E-Cigarette Fires and Explosions?

If you suffered burns, fractures, lacerations, or other injuries caused by an exploding e-cigarette or vaporizer, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, pain and suffering, and other hardships caused by the accident.  The burn injury lawyers of Hasbrook & Hasbrook can help.  With over 75 years of combined experience handling product liability claims, we are amply prepared to aggressively tackle any legal challenge head-on.

To set up a free legal consultation with the product liability lawyers of Hasbrook & Hasbrook, call our law offices right away at (405) 698-3040.  We will keep your information private, and you will never be charged any fees for our services unless we are able to obtain compensation for you.  We are proud to represent clients throughout the Oklahoma City area, including but not limited to Moore, Norman, Edmond, Shawnee, McLoud, El Reno, and Guthrie.

Did You Suffer Burn Injuries After Using a Defective E-Cigarette or Vaporizer?

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E-cigarettes are also called “vapes,” “vape pens,” “personal vaporizers,” “electronic nicotine delivery systems” (ENDS), “digital vapor cigarettes,” or simply “e-cigs.”  These devices heat a small amount of “vape liquid,” also called “vape juice” or “e-juice,” in order to produce inhalable steam vapors.  About 2.5 million Americans use e-cigarettes, which can be purchased at convenience stores, vape shops, or through online retailers.  Popular brands include:

After debuting onto the consumer market about a decade ago, e-cigs enjoyed years of robust sales, being aggressively advertised as a safer alternative to traditional tobacco cigarettes.  However, more and more reports of people being injured by defective e-cigs and e-cig batteries have emerged in recent years, contributing to a wane in popularity among these once-trendy products.

Some e-cigarettes are disposable, while others contain rechargeable lithium-ion batteries.  These batteries can overheat and explode, inflicting serious injuries including:

According to a 2014 report from the U.S. Fire Administration, over two dozen incidents of exploding e-cigs were documented between 2009 and 2014, resulting in nine injuries.  Most of the accidents took place while e-cigs were charging, but several also occurred while the person was using or holding the device.  To quote the report, “The shape and construction of e-cigarettes can make them more likely than other products with lithium-ion batteries to behave like ‘flaming rockets’ when a battery fails,” increasing the risk that the user will sustain injuries.

While it’s fortunate that public awareness about the dangers of e-cigarette use is starting to increase, serious accidents will continue to harm innocent consumers until e-cigs are better regulated or banned outright.

Do I Have a Product Liability Claim? How Much Compensation is Available?

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Product liability is the area of personal injury law that deals with fault (liability) for dangerous and defective products and consumer goods.  Speaking generally, manufacturers have a responsibility to ensure that their products are safe when used as directed, or otherwise labeled with warning notices.  When manufacturers do not adequately design, test, label, or manufacture a hazardous product, and a customer is injured or killed as a result, the manufacturer can potentially be held liable for the personal injury or wrongful death.  Other parties may also be liable, such as retailers and distributors.

Failure to take adequate precautions against foreseeable consumer deaths and/or injuries is described as “negligence.”  In Oklahoma, victims of negligence are entitled to recover various “damages,” or monetary awards for harms and losses.  Some damages are “economic,” meaning they compensate financial losses like lost earnings, while others are “non-economic,” meaning they compensate non-financial hardships like physical pain and mental anguish.  Sometimes, juries also award “punitive damages” in cases where there is clear and convincing evidence that the defendant acted with extreme (“gross”) negligence.

Like many states, Oklahoma caps certain types of damages at certain financial thresholds, depending on the circumstances surrounding the accident and resulting injuries.  For example, non-economic damages may be capped at $350,000, or not be capped at all.  Punitive damages may be capped at either $100,000, at $500,000, or not be capped at all.  Economic damages are not subject to caps.

If you or one of your family members was burned or injured while charging or smoking an e-cig, you should talk to an experienced personal injury lawyer about the compensation that may be available to you.  To learn more about your options in a free and completely confidential consultation, call the law offices of Hasbrook & Hasbrook at (405) 698-3040.  We have decades of experience helping injury victims throughout the Oklahoma City area hold negligent manufacturers accountable for defective and dangerous consumer products.