E-Cigarettes Lawsuit

E-cigarettes' explosive batteries and toxic ingredients have led to a rash of personal injury and deceptive advertising lawsuits.

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E-Cigarettes Lawsuit

Electronic cigarettes (aka “e-cigarettes” or “e-cigs”) are battery-powered devices made to mimic traditional cigarettes. They are often shaped like cigarettes or pipes, and work by heating a nicotine mixture called “e-liquid,” “e-juice,” or “vape juice.” The e-liquid vaporizes, and the user inhales, getting a buzz from the nicotine in the e-liquid. Smoking an e-cigarette is called “vaping.”

Due to a rash of e-cigarette explosions, many consumers are now filing lawsuits seeking relief for physical, emotional, and financial injuries.

E-cigarettes are exponentially more popular than they were ten years ago. It is now a $7 billion global industry made up of roughly 500 brands. (Some of the most popular brands include V2, Halo, VaporFi, and blu.) By some projections, e-cig sales could surpass conventional cigarettes’ by 2022.

Due to a rash of e-cigarette explosions caused by volatile lithium-ion batteries, many consumers are now filing lawsuits against e-cigarette companies, seeking relief for physical, emotional, and financial injuries.

Are E-Cigarettes Safer Than Traditional Cigarettes? 

Though some studies suggest that e-cigarettes are a healthier alternative to regular cigarettes, they pose their own set of unique (and unknown) risks. In fact, some research indicates that e-cigarettes could be more dangerous than traditional ones. Because they have only been on the market for about a decade, there is no research on their long-term effects.

The FDA didn't start regulating the e-cig industry until August 2016. Given the lack of oversight over many years, the inadequate research, the questionable ingredients, and the volatile batteries, it’s hard to imagine that vaping is a “safer” form of anything.

Do E-Cigarette Companies Target Children?

Yes. With fun, colorful flavors like Bubble Gum, Cotton Candy, Cupcake, Graham Cracker, Marshmallow, Sour Apple, and Goblin Goo (among countless others), e-cig companies target children and adolescents in their marketing with devastating efficiency. From 2013 to 2014, the number of middle and high schoolers who vape tripled.

Hold Vape Companies Accountable

How Often Do E-Cigarettes Explode?

Far too often. A rash of violent explosions and grisly injuries have cast sizable doubt on the safety of e-cigarettes. These types of explosions, and the gruesome injuries that result, are becoming a common occurrence.

On Easter Sunday, an e-cigarette exploded in a New Hampshire restaurant, burning the hands and face of its owner and hitting “another customer in a nearby booth in the chest, burning part of his shirt and pants,” according to the Sentinel Source. Shell-shocked witnesses described the explosion as a “fireball,” or akin to a fireworks display.

In February, an e-cigarette exploded in a Kentucky man’s pocket while he waited in line at a Shell gas station. The man was rushed to the hospital with second-degree burns. Around the same time, a Naples (Florida) woman’s car burst into flames after her e-cigarette exploded. She too was rushed to the nearest hospital for burn treatment.

The eruptions above—which occur because of the same kind of battery found in exploding hoverboards—are just the tip of the iceberg. There were at least 25 e-cig explosions between 2009 and 2014, at least a dozen more in 2015, and there have already been several in 2016. According to The Wall Street Journal, the FDA received 134 reports of vape-related fires and explosions from 2009 to January 2016.

As e-cigarettes’ popularity grows, and as more people come forward, these numbers will only rise.

What Types of Injuries Have Resulted from E-Cigarettes?

Unsurprisingly, the most common injuries suffered by vapers are lung-related. But e-cigarettes are also exploding with greater and greater frequency, so many vapers have also suffered burns, scars, and even amputated fingers.

Here are some of the injuries most often associated with e-cigarettes:

  • Burns, scarring, or other injuries from e-cig explosion
  • Popcorn Lung (coughing, shortness of breath)
  • Asthma
  • Chronic Bronchitis
  • Breathing problems

What Types of Lawsuits Have People Filed Against Vape Companies?

Many of the lawsuits filed against e-cigarette companies have been filed by people who had e-cigarettes explode in their mouth, hand, or pocket. Some of the most notable cases include:

  • A 17-year-old whose e-cigarette exploded in his pocket while in class at Clovis East High School. The teen is suing manufacturer Shenzhen IVPS Technology in a case that could establish a national precedent.
  • A Naples, Florida man named Evan Spahlinger, who suffered severe internal burns and was put into a medically induced coma after an e-cigarette exploded in his mouth, allegedly burning his mouth, face, throat, esophagus, and lungs, according to his attorney. Mr. Spahlinger says he has suffered permanent injuries. The cigarette was made by VapeAMP.
  • Three men in California whose e-cigarettes exploded late last year. (These were separate incidents, but the same attorney represents all three men.) The plaintiffs include Vicente Garza, whose e-cig exploded in bed and wound up costing Mr. Garza his left index finger. Mr. Garza is suing not just the manufacturer—the ironically named Flawless Vapes & Supplies, LLC—but the Bakersfield store that sold the e-cig to him, and the store that sold him the e-cigarette charger.

All of the above incidents have occurred in the past six months, and they only scratch the surface of the e-cigarette crisis.

Jury Awards $2 Million to Woman Burned by E-Cig Explosion

A nonprofit group called the Center for Environmental Health (CEH) has filed a different type of suit against more than 60 e-cigarette companies for failing to warn consumers that their products contain formaldehyde and other chemicals that can cause lung disease. Under California law (Prop 65), companies must inform consumers if their products increase the risk of cancer and/or birth defects.

A California woman named Jennifer Cox filed a class action suit against vape company Cuttwood, LLC on similar grounds, saying she never would have bought their products had she known they contained such poisonous ingredients. Ms. Cox’s complaint states:

“Cuttwood’s warning label is misleading and deceptive because while it identifies nicotine as a chemical component, it does not provide a full list of other carcinogenic ingredients and other disease-causing substances.”

Because e-cigarettes carry a multitude of risks, they spur a number of different lawsuits. Even if a vaper has not (yet) been injured by an e-cigarette, he or she may want to file suit against a manufacturer for false advertising, or failing to warn of the dangers present in the product.

Those who have been injured seek compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, emotional injury, etc. In October 2015, a California jury awarded Jennifer Ries $1.9 million after Ms. Ries suffered second degree burns from an exploding e-cig battery.

Who Is Eligible for a Lawsuit?

Anyone who has suffered physical, emotional, or financial harm as a result of vaping. Side effects for eligible parties may include the following:

  • Popcorn Lung (coughing, shortness of breath)
  • Asthma
  • Chronic Bronchitis
  • Breathing problems
  • Burns, scarring, or other injuries from e-cig explosion

How Much Does It Cost?

At ClassAction.com, we will only collect if the case is successful. We accept a fixed percentage (typically one-third) of the recovery.

What Should I Look for in an Attorney?

Experience, ethics, and grit. Our firm has never represented an insurance company or large corporation; that’s why our motto is “For the People.” We have also filed several e-cigarette lawsuits, with many more on the way.

We have extensive experience with consumer litigation. As one of the largest consumer protection firms in the country--with 303 lawyers and a support staff of over 1,500--we are one of the few with the resources to take on the e-cigarette companies. We are trial lawyers who are not afraid to go up against big corporations, and we have the track record to prove it.

To date, we have won $2 billion for 200,000 clients.

What Is the First Step in Pursuing a Lawsuit?

Contact us immediately for a free, no-obligation case review. These lawsuits are time-sensitive, so it is crucial that you reach out to us as soon as possible.

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