The electronic cigarette lawsuit states the manufacturers of these nicotine devices were negligent in the battery design, which has resulted in explosions and burns.
Additionally, there are claims that the manufacturers failed to warn users of the increased risk of a lung disease known as "popcorn lung."
Why are E-Cigarette Lawsuits Being Filed
Claims are being filed against the manufacturers of e-cigarettes because the batteries in the devices have been known to overheat and explode during normal use, and also during charging, causing severe burns to users and property damage.
Lawsuits also are being filed as a result of the connection between e-cigarettes and the lung disease bronchiolitis obliterans (aka "popcorn lung").
Most of the fires with e-cigarettes occur while the device is being charged in a USB port. The problem appears to be that different USB ports put out different levels of voltage and amps, which can cause the battery in the e-cigarette to overheat.
What is the Purpose of E-Cigarettes
E-cigarettes (also known as electronic nicotine delivery systems) are designed to look like cigarettes, writing pens, USB flash drives and other common products.
These devices have a liquid that contains nicotine and various types of flavors, as well as propylene glycol and glycerin. The liquid is heated through the use of a battery and heating coils. The liquid becomes a vapor, where it can be inhaled, which is why the use of these products are often referred to as "vaping".
More than 3 million middle and high school students used e-cigarettes in 2015. There are hundreds of brands, and thousands of flavors, of e-cigarettes.
E-cigarettes have been marketed and hyped as a way to help people quit conventional smoking, and to lower the risk of lung cancer. However, research shows that the opposite might be true.
A study performed by the University of California - San Francisco found that many adolescents who would not have started smoking cigarettes began vaping, and then moved to conventional tobacco products. It was not until August 2016 that the FDA began requiring purchasers of e-cigarettes to be eighteen or older.
The key manufacturers of vaping products are China National Tobacco Corporation; Philip Morris International; British American Tobacco; Japan Tobacco International; Imperial Tobacco; and Philip Morris U.S.A./Altria Group, Inc.
What is the Concern with E-Cigarettes
The most immediate concern with e-cigarettes are severe burns and property damage caused by the device exploding during normal use or charging.
Another key health concern with the use of e-cigarettes is the development of bronchiolitis obliterans (aka "popcorn lung"), a serious lung disease that is irreversible. This disease is caused by the chemical diacetyl, which is used in many of the e-cig flavors. When this chemical is inhaled, it can cause scarring in the lungs, and result in the thickening and narrowing of airways.
A third concern is that e-cigarette use has been found to potentially expose users to the heavy metal toxins cadmium, chromium, lead, manganese and nickel.
While e-cig explosions appear to be rare, the results have been very serious, including severe burns and even an amputation. Due to the potential severity, airplane passengers are not permitted to store e-cigarettes in checked luggage. Instead, they must carry the devices with them on the plane.
Symptoms of popcorn lung include coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath, similar to the symptoms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Beginning in August 2018, e-cigarette manufacturers will be required to warn about the addictive nature of nicotine.
E-Cigarette Lawsuit Videos
E-Cigarette Lawsuit News
When Ms. Berven pushed the activation button, she claims the e-cigarette exploded, ripping a hole in her mouth and spewing battery acid across her body. Months later, Ms. Berven is struggling to pay for dental procedures, and bears scars on her face. To read more, click Wall Street JournalColorado sees alarming spike in e-cigarette explosions
In Colorado alone last year, there were 16 e-cigarette explosion cases that were admitted to the UCHealth burn center, seven at Swedish Medical Center, two at Denver International Airport, two in Telluride, three in Colorado Springs and one in Greeley. In total, there were at least 34 e-cigarette battery explosions in Colorado in 2016, with 27 of those cases involving injuries. To read more, click Denver News
Dozens of lawsuits have been filed by consumers who say their e-cigs blew up, causing serious and expensive injuries. The Food and Drug Administration has found 134 reports of overheating, fires, and explosions of the devices in the U.S. between 2009 and January 2016. To read more, click Consumer AffairsPeople Are Suing Over Exploding E-Cigarettes
Electronic cigarettes are seen by some as a safer alternative to traditional forms of smoking, though the jury is still largely out on their long-term health effects. Now, the so-called "e-cigs" are facing another safety issue, as multiple users have filed lawsuits alleging their battery-powered devices exploded and, in some cases, caused serious injuries. To read more, click Time MagazineE-cigarettes are expanding tobacco product use among youth
E-cigarettes are actually attracting a new population of adolescents who might not otherwise have smoked tobacco products. Researchers concluded that low-risk youths in the study, who went on to smoke regular cigarettes, may not have used nicotine at all if e-cigarettes did not exist. To read more, click Science Daily
For additional news stories, click Levin Law E-cigarette News
E-Cigarette Claims Information
How Much Compensation can be Recovered in an E-Cigarette Lawsuit
We will be seeking the following damages for you:
- Past and future medical expenses that result from physical injuries (whether burns or lung disease).
- Past and future mental pain and suffering caused by your physical injuries, and the treatment and recovery process.
- Past and future wage loss, if any.
- Other economic losses you might have sustained as a result of e-cigarette harm (such as property damage).
- Punitive damages, if appropriate.
As of this time, there has not been a recall of e-cigarettes related to explosions or lung disease. However, it was not until 2016 that the FDA received the authority to regulate these devices.
The FDA has scheduled formal science-based public hearings to start in April 2017 to gather information regarding the cause and prevention of battery explosions.
As of this time, there have been no large group settlements involving e-cigarettes and battery explosions or popcorn lung. Generally, however, large groups of settlements do not occur until such time as a few cases are tried before a jury, and the manufacturer is able to more thoroughly understand its financial risk.