Some view electronic cigarettes– or e-cigs– as a safer alternative to regular cigarettes—though there is still controversy on the long-term health effects of inhaling the vapor produced by these devices. Now there is another product liability issue, with a number of filed lawsuits alleging the electronic cigarette battery exploded—causing serious injuries for some.
Dozens of such suits have been filed in states including New York, Florida, and California reported The Wall Street Journal. A total exceeding 120 lawsuits in 2017 alone were filed by plaintiffs claiming injuries due to explosion and fire caused by e-cig batteries. Injuries claimed included teeth being knocked out, third-degree burns, and scorched leg or groin areas when e-cigs being carried in pockets caught fire from defective batteries.
And then there was the left index finger amputation and tongue surgery for Vicente Garza. According to the Los Angeles Times, Garza had to undergo the surgery after an electronic cigarette battery exploded near his face. Severe burns on his thigh were suffered by Josh Hamilton of Owensboro, Kentucky e-cigarette exploded in his pocket, reported CNN.
The culprit has been alleged to be the lithium ion batteries that power many electronic smoking devices. These are the same types of batteries allegedly involved in other electronic fires—you may recall the hoverboard ban by airlines and the Samsung Galaxy 7 fires.
These lawsuits are occurring at the same time that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced it will begin the process of regulating e-cigarettes as it does for other tobacco products.
Whether a phone, hoverboard, e-cigarette, or any other type of manufactured product, the fact is that manufacturers, distributors, and retailers are responsible for the safety of their products. Once a product hits the marketplace, product liability laws are in place to protect the public.
Product liability may result from:
Defects in design
Defects in manufacture
Marketing defects (failing to warn of potential danger)
Defects in Design
The very design of a product may be found to be legally defective, if the risk of that product outweighs its consumer benefit or if the product itself is inherently dangerous.
Defects in Manufacture
A design may not be defective, but if careless assembly and/or construction lead to injuries from a product, this would be considered a defect in manufacture.
Even a well-designed and manufactured may present dangers not immediately obvious to the consumer. Therefore adequate warnings must be provided to warn of potential danger—small parts, for instance, or parts of a product that may heat up during use.
Elements of Product Liability– Negligence
Florida law requires several elements to be present for negligence in a product liability case:
- The manufacturer had a legal duty to design and manufacture a product reasonably safe to use
- The manufacturer failed to comply with that duty
- Someone was injured, with that injury caused by the failure to comply
- Damages resulted from the injury
Elements of Product Liability—Strict Liability
Then there is ‘strict liability,’ which under Florida law requires the following elements:
- The injured party used the product
- The product had a defect which caused it to be unreasonably dangerous
- The defect caused damages to the injured party
Consumers should feel they are safe in using products that are in the marketplace. And if they are injured by a bad product, it may be time to bring in the help of an experienced attorney.
If you or a loved one has been injured by a bad product in the marketplace—including an e-cigarette– the attorneys at Thomas and Pearl want to speak to you.
$150 MILLION in verdicts and settlements
Thomas & Pearl attorneys have the skills and training, plus the financial resources necessary to conduct a thorough injury and accident investigation. Eyewitness accounts, expert medical testimony and more can be critical factors in winning a case.
Ask about the more than $150M (MILLION) dollars in recent and past jury verdicts and settlements we have gained for our clients.
We’ll evaluate your case situation with you, develop a strategy to win or successfully negotiate the highest amount of compensation for you.
Experienced legal help can make the difference between a successful resolution and losing.
And you pay nothing unless we get that successful resolution for you.
Contact Thomas & Pearl at any time.