Four New Jersey residents who suffered third-degree burns when their e-cigarette batteries ignited “like a rocket” are suing the shops that sold the “defective” devices.
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 were made in China.
Moreover, in New York, a 31-year-old resident was standing behind the store counter talking with co-workers when his e-cigarette exploded, burning his leg, thigh, and hand. Security camera video obtained from the store shows the man jumping as sparks begin shooting from his pant pocket. This is becoming a growing concern, and according to a national survey six in 10 teens said they did not know that e-cigarettes were harmful.
E-cigarettes are a $10 billion industry operating without meaningful oversight by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Holding the retailers legally accountable is the only way to draw attention to these dangerous devices.
The lawsuit by the New Jersey residents alleges the manufacturers, the distributors, and the sellers should be liable because they should have known the cylinder batteries “can be shot out like a bullet or a rocket” when they malfunction.