Authored by: Jaroslawicz & Jaros PLLC
Over the last 10 years, e-cigarettes have found a toehold within the broad tobacco industry, though tobacco is not used in the making of these products. E-cigarettes have made tremendous inroads in the marketplace, especially for those who have been trying to quit the use of nicotine-based products or those who wish to “be cool” by smoking without the known health risks of tobacco cigarettes, cigars or pipes.
E Cigs are becoming popular
While use among younger users is up 900 percent in the last few years according to data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, e-cigarettes do have their own risks to the human body that have gone under the radar. The good news is, the risk does indeed have nothing to do with tar or nicotine, so it’s not a risk that builds over long periods of time of sustained smoking. The bad news is, the risk can be much more immediate and results in burns on the skin or clothing, or damage to the mouth or hands. As it turns out, e-cigarettes seem to have a problem with the batteries overheating and/or exploding as people use them, causing major problems and significant injuries to users and even to others as shrapnel from exploded batteries and e-cig devices can fly across a room.
E-cigarettes use lithium-ion batteries and a heating element to turn the fluid in the devices into the vapor that you see when a user “smokes” the device. Lithium-ion batteries are commonplace nowadays, but these specially designed batteries seem to have a hard time staying together when they get pushed with overheating and excessive use. The question is, when these explosions happen, can the user hold the manufacturer of the e-cigarette responsible for any injuries or damage caused by its product? This is a difficult question to answer definitively, but the possibility does exist that yes, a user can hold the manufacturer responsible, if it is determined that there was something wrong with the e-cigarette up the supply chain. This is where a good defective-products lawyer can play a huge role in this question.
A good product liability lawyer will have the best investigators who know a product’s supply chain and will work on the process of how the user got the e-cigarette in the first place, tracking back to the seller, finding the distributor of the product and going back to the original manufacturer to find out if the product was knowingly defective or whether there was a high likelihood of a problem because of how the product was made.
The Defective Product
If the lawyer can determine that the manufacturer made a defective product, there is a chance that the manufacturer may be held accountable for damages. The caution is that several manufacturers are not in the U.S. or Canada, and laws regarding liability are different in other countries. If you have an exploding e-cigarette, make sure you take care of your damage and injuries quickly, but then make a call to a good person-injury lawyer to get a consultation about your case so the investigation can begin so there is an understanding of what happened and how. You owe it to yourself to understand accountability.