The E-cigarette industry has received a severe blow with a recent crisis concerning the lithium ion batteries commonly used to power the devices. Touted as a ‘safer’ and less addictive alternative to actual cigarette smoking, the unstable batteries have been posing a threat to the health and safety of users by randomly exploding in consumer’s mouths during use. The most recent explosion case was that of 17 year-old Southern California resident, Daniel McClelland, who was rushed to the hospital with severe burns to his mouth and trachea, along with dental injuries. Although he is reportedly in ‘fair’ condition, the accident left his family with severe medical bills, which forced them to open a GoFundMe account to raise money for his medical treatments. His family is also filing an e-cig lawsuit against the company that manufactured his e-cigarette. Other e-cigarette explosion reports include severe burns to the hands and face, and in one case, severe burns to the upper thigh area when the battery exploded randomly in the pocket of the victim’s pants. There are currently no regulations by the Food and Drug Administration or the Consumer Product Safety Commission, but the California state senate has proposed a bill to be signed by Governor Jerry Brown to regulate e-cigarettes like a traditional tobacco product, including a ban on public use, and raising the legal purchase age from 18 to 21 (with exceptions for active military members). “The last several months have proved just how much tobacco’s business model depends on their ability to market and sell their poison to our kids. It is time that we take a stand.” Said Senator Ed Hernandez after voting ‘yes’ on the proposed bill. California has prohibited the sale of e-cigarettes to minors since 2011, and the California Department of Public Health declared e-cigarettes a “community health threat” in January 2015, stating in a report that the toxic chemicals contained in the fluid used to create the vapor could be a health hazard for young children. Accidental lithium ion battery explosions have also been occurring in other products that contain them, such as hoverboards.
If you have experienced injury or wrongful death due to e-cigarette battery explosions, the lawyers at Hodes Milman Liebeck are there for you in your time of need. Contact us today online at hmlm.com or call (949) 640-8222 for a complimentary case evaluation.