The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is probing the dangers of exploding batteries in e-cigarettes, following dozens of reports of devices that have combusted, overheated or caught fire. The agency announced a two-day public meeting for April. The Associated Press reported last month that 66 explosions were identified by the FDA in 2015 and early 2016.
Electronic cigarettes 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.” E-cigarettes are now a $7 billion global industry made up of roughly 500 brands. However, 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. Dozens of lawsuits allege serious injuries caused by exploding batteries.
The most common injuries suffered by vapers are lung-related but e-cigarettes are exploding with greater and greater frequency and many vapers have suffered burns, scars, and even amputated fingers. Four New Jersey residents, including two teenagers, who suffered third-degree burns when their e-cigarette batteries ignited are suing the shops that sold the “defective” devices. 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.
The manufacturers of the lithium ion batteries that power the vaping devices are also the targets of the litigation although the attorneys acknowledged it would be tougher to hold them accountable. The batteries are made in China.
The safety of E-cigarettes has not been extensively studied and there’s no scientific consensus on whether they help reduce rates of cigarette smoking. Last year the FDA announced it would begin to regulate the fast-growing industry, requiring makers of e-cigarettes to submit their devices and ingredients for review for the first time.
As a partner with D'Arcy Johnson Day, Andrew D'Arcy has been involved in some of the nation’s most high-profile cases and investigations. His practice includes serious automobile accidents, medical malpractice, wrongful death and product defect cases. Andrew has been personally responsible for numerous multi-million dollar settlements and verdicts on behalf of his clients. He has been recognized by his peers as an "AV" rated attorney, the highest possible rating given by Martindale-Hubbell publication. Andrew has been named a "Super Lawyer" by New Jersey Monthly magazine each year consistently since 2013.