Electronic cigarettes have gained a great deal of popularity in recent years. Some people have switched entirely from cigarettes to e-cigarettes while others use these nicotine-delivery devices as a way to cut down or break the habit. People often switch to e-cigarettes because they believe they are healthier than traditional tobacco cigarettes, which are proven to have many dangerous additives. But for a product that is supposed to be a bit safer than cigarettes, it has been startling news for users that the battery powering their devices could explode in their pockets or hands. One woman from Arlington, Texas, learned the hard way that e-cigarettes and their batteries have risks. Her spare lithium-ion battery caught fire causing burns on her hand. She had to receive a skin graft. Flores never received any warning that her battery was defective or ran the risk of explosion from the manufacturer or the store where she purchases the device. If you find yourself in a similar situation, call the experienced Texas defective products attorneys at our office for help.
Dangerous E-Cigarette Batteries
Lithium-ion batteries for e-cigarettes are not exploding daily. But when they do catch fire, the injuries can be serious and debilitating. People can experience significant, third-degree burns on their hands, arms, legs, mouth and face. If the individual was using the device at the time, they are at risk for eye injuries.
The U.S. Fire Administration reported there were 25 explosions between 2009 and 2014. These led to nine injuries. The administration stated that because of the “shape and construction” of these lithium-ion batteries, they are more likely to behave like “flaming rockets” when they fail.
This report focuses on the rarity of the incidents, but it is a very real possibility that incidents have gone unreported. It is also possible that the pace of batteries failing has increased in recent years.
Why Are These Batteries Exploding?
There does not seem to be one exact reason for the batteries to explode or catch fire. External temperatures can affect the products as well as using a different charger. Cheaper batteries have poorer quality components or a greater likelihood of a design or manufacturing defect.
These batteries could fail from various defects because there is little to no oversight or regulation regarding the production of lithium ion batteries for e-cigarettes. Currently, neither the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission or the Food and Drug Administration regulates e-cigarettes.
What to Do if You Are Hurt
If you suffer physical injuries because of an exploding lithium-ion battery, you should contact an experienced Texas personal injury attorney right away. Your lawyer can help you investigate who is responsible for the batteries, including any company that participated in designing and manufacturing it. Your lawyer will also look into the responsibility of the store that sold the battery to you. There may be multiple parties who are ultimately liable for your injuries.
You May Have a Defective Product Claim
When you have been hurt by a battery, it is likely that you have a defective product claim. This defect may be based on poor design of the battery, improper manufacturing, or a lack of warning about the potential risks. Your attorney can explain more about bringing a defective product lawsuit in court.
If you sue for injuries suffered due to an exploding e-cigarette battery, you would not be the first. Others have won significant settlements and jury awards. To learn more, call the passionate New Braunfels personal injury attorneys at The Bettersworth Law Firm to schedule a consultation.