Plaintiffs in Alabama and across the country have filed lawsuits after alleged e-cigarette battery explosions. Among other claims, some are alleging that e-cigarette manufacturers failed to warn users of the risk of fires and explosions.
Failure to Warn Claims
In Alabama failure to warn claims, plaintiffs must show that a defendant failed to warn consumers of dangerous conditions or risks in a product. Generally, there must be an adequate warning of a product’s dangers, unless the danger is obvious. This means that not only must products have warnings of the relevant dangers, but also they must adequately disclose the risks. For example, warnings or instructions may be inadequate if the information is insufficient concerning the proper use of the product or if the warnings are ambiguous. Some recent e-cigarette explosion lawsuits have alleged that the e-cigarette manufacturers have failed to include proper labels warning consumers of the risks of battery fires.
E-Cigarette Explosion Lawsuits Increasing
According to one news source, in 2017, over 120 lawsuits were filed in which people alleged that they were injured in explosions from e-cigarette, or vape, batteries. Some individuals alleged that the e-cigarettes exploded in their mouth, while others claimed the e-cigarettes caught fire in their pockets.
The alleged injuries included third-degree burns, loss of teeth, loss of an eye, burns on legs and groins, and death. In one case, the plaintiff alleged that an e-cigarette exploded, hitting the individual in the head with shrapnel and starting a fire that caused his death. In that case, the plaintiff said that there was no universal method of testing the safety of e-cigarettes. The plaintiff also claimed that distributors in the U.S. imported vaping products from China due to their low cost and poor quality control.
Vaping products have become increasingly popular as an alternative to smoking tobacco. According to a 2016 National Health Interview Survey, e-cigarettes are now a multibillion-dollar industry, with about 15% of adults reporting that they have used vaping products. As their use has increased, so have incidents of e-cigarette fires. The head of the American Vaping Association said that fires are due largely to user error—for example, by allowing metal to touch an e-cigarette in one’s pocket or by mishandling its parts and components.
Although there have been issues with lithium batteries in other products, the U.S. Fire Administration states there is a unique hazard in e-cigarette battery failures. The agency notes that other consumer products are not used in such close proximity to the body, especially the face. This is what it sees as the reason for severe injuries with vaping products. The administration found that the current generation of lithium batteries is not a safe source of energy for e-cigarettes.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney
If you have been injured by a defective consumer product, the Alabama product liability attorney Greg Reeves may be able to help. At the Reeves Law Firm, Attorney Reeves provides victims with a free legal consultation to advise them on their options. Attorney Greg Reeves will advocate for a favorable settlement on your behalf, but he is ready to take a case to trial if a fair settlement offer is not made. He understands how important it is that you obtain financial compensation for your damages. The Reeves Law Firm represents accident victims in Huntsville, Decatur, and other areas of Alabama. Call today at 256-355-3311 for a free consultation.