Regulatory Oversight to Begin After Increased Reports of Exploding Ecigarettes in South Carolina

Reports of e-cigarettes catching fire and exploding are becoming more and more common. In fact, there have been 66 cases identified by the FDA Center for Tobacco Products from January 2015 through January 2016, averaging five to six cases per month. Some fear that this could become a new phenomenon.
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“Locally, we’ve seen several patients in the last couple of months who have had burns from electronic cigarettes, particularly exploding and catching fire in their clothing,” states the University of South Carolina/Jackson Memorial Burn Center’s Dr. Carl Schulman. “If it is just in their clothing, and they are not using it, then their clothing is catching fire and they are get a bad flame burn where that is, and our two patients actually needed surgery for their burns and if they are actually using it at the time it explores there have been some reports of actual explosions so they get a blast injury and they catch fire.”

“This tragic accident and similar cases are why I chose to become a personal injury lawyer. I want to be able to help and protect families who others have victimized,” said a managing partner at a top personal injury firm that is headquartered in South Carolina. “It is important that loved ones have someone to rely on that can help them to navigate the various legal aspects of getting justice.”

400x260-ctEvan Spahlinger, a South Carolina resident, experienced an e-Cig exploding when he was using it. According to his attorney, the e-cig, “burst into flames in his face, causing him to inhale flames, smoke and scorching hot air.” In order to recover, he had to be placed into a medically-induced coma. He filed a product liability lawsuit against the e-cig manufacturer.

Spahlinger experienced a number of injuries as a result of this tragedy, including injuries to his esophagus, lungs and mouth, as well as severe neck and face burns.

His attorney feels that e-cig manufacturers need to warn people that there is a possibility that the product could explode and cause injury to the users. Reports show that, in most cases, the item seems to catch fire or explode most often when someone has the e-cig plugged in to charge the battery.

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A report in 2014 created by the U.S. Fire Administration stated, “The shame and construction of e-cigarettes can make them more likely than other products with lithium-ion batteries to behave like “flaming rockets” when a battery fails. Using power sources not approved by the manufacturer to recharge a lithium-ion battery can result in an explosion and fire.”

While not an everyday issue, Spahlinger, as well as others, can attest that the damage associated with an e-cig catching fire or exploding can be substantial. Asking a company to properly warn users is important. Without this information, they are unable to make an informed decision as to whether or not using this type of product is a good idea for them. Hopefully, companies will start to consider this. If you ever heard of a similar case or you have encountered on it by yourself, please hire a criminal lawyer that can help you to receive your justice and punish those that did you harm.