Are Electronic Cigarette Batteries Causing Catastrophic Injuries to Consumers?

Photo of a doctor examining a male patient with knee pain

Photo of Ambulance helping injured woman on stretcherElectronic cigarette batteries have gained notoriety for causing severe burn injuries to consumers. However, these are not “minor” burn injuries. People are suffering catastrophic, life-altering injuries from explosions caused by electronic cigarette batteries. In fact, the Navy recently issued a fleet-wide ban on electronic cigarettes over reports of explosions causing injuries to sailors.

Victims have the following injuries:

  • Third-degree chemical and thermal burns to the face and limbs
  • Dental and tongue damage
  • Finger amputations

Some people were disfigured after their electronic cigarettes exploded in their mouths.

Defective lithium-ion batteries used in electronic cigarettes can become unstable and undergo rapid overheating. This may happen when the electrolytes used in the batteries are heated to a boiling point. Pressure can build within these batteries in a very short amount of time. Seals used at the end of the battery cases may rupture and ignite.

According to the U.S. Fire Administration, lithium-ion batteries used in e-cigarettes differ from the ones used in other consumer electronics. Many e-cigarettes use cylindrical batteries. The seals used at the ends of these batteries are weaker and more prone to quickly rupturing once they overheat. Consumers using these products have little to no warning if the devices fail while being used.

Have Lawsuits Been Filed for Injuries Caused by Electronic Cigarette Batteries?

Multiple personal injury lawsuits have been filed by consumers harmed by electronic cigarette explosions. A 27-year-old woman from Modesto, California filed a lawsuit after an exploding battery ripped a hole in her mouth and spilled battery acid over her body. She suffered disfigurement and psychological damage. There are other of cases like this unfolding across the country.

These lawsuits follow a similar path. E-cigarette manufacturers are generally located overseas, mainly in China. However, wholesalers, distributors and retailers are located in the United States. Depending on the circumstances of an injury, it may be possible to hold wholesalers, distributors and retailers accountable.

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