Electronic cigarettes and potential defective products lawsuits

Product Liability | April 1, 2015

The relatively recent introduction of electronic cigarettes into the marketplace poses new concerns from some safety officials. E-cigarettes, which are often also referred to as personal vaporizers, are battery-powered devices that are designed to simulate real tobacco cigarettes. E-cigarettes typically work by using the power of the battery to produce a heated vapor from nicotine-infused oils.

Since E-cigarettes first came into the market in 2007, it’s estimated that more than 2.5 million Americans are currently using them. It’s also important to remember that this number is growing as the popularity of vaporizing or “vaping” begins to take hold. This fact is important to remember because many safety agencies have not yet had sufficient time to evaluate the safety of E-cigarettes.

One thing about E-cigarettes that seems to be relatively certain is that fires and explosions generated by the devices are rarely reported. In fact, E-cigarettes are so new that many fire agencies simply do not have a special E-cigarette category in which to cite the cause of a fire in their reporting methods. A search of media reports regarding explosions and fires related to E-cigarettes between 2009 and August 2014 revealed 25 instances of such events. Although no victims perished in those events, nine individuals did suffer burn injuries and two of those victims were seriously burned.

The concepts of product liability and defective products generally holds that a manufacturer should be liable for products they make that are unreasonably dangerous when used for their intended purpose. According to the United States Fire Safety Administration, the shape and construction of some E-cigarettes can make them more prone to behaving like “flaming rockets” after the batteries within the devices fail than some other lithium-ion powered device.

If you are an Illinois resident who suspects that you may have been injured as a result of a dangerous product, there are a few things you should know. Dangerous products can occur in children’s toys, household furniture and even improperly labeled medications. A consultation with an Illinois products liability attorney can help you determine whether the specifics of your case is sufficient to give rise to civil litigation. If so, you may be able to sue a manufacturer for the recovery of your medical costs and associated expenses.

Source: U.S. Fire Administration- FEMA, “Electronic Cigarette Fires and Explosions,” accessed April. 01, 2015