E-Cigarettes: Thermal Runaways

By James Parker
/
December 17, 2021

After the introduction of e-cigarettes to the market approximately a decade ago, many people became concerned about the risks posed by vaping nicotine. As lawsuits have piled up against e-cigarette manufacturers, the main concern has been companies like Juul Labs advertising to minors. There are, however, other concerns about e-cigarettes beyond the risk of juvenile addiction.

One of the other major dangers posed by e-cigarettes is a physical design defect: spontaneous explosion. These explosions, dubbed “thermal runaways” by a 2019 study in Cureus, are triggered by the presence of a lithium battery that powers the e-cigarette. 

According to the study, thermal runaways occur when the lithium battery overheats and the internal temperature of the battery increases to a dangerously high point, causing a fire and explosion. Thermal runaways can be triggered by a number of circumstances, including:

  • Overcharging the device
  • Presence of external heat
  • Puncture of the device
  • Short circuit

No matter the cause, the consequences of thermal runaways can be disastrous. Since 2018, multiple reports have been filed of severe burns on the thighs or groins of users who kept the device in their pocket. Other users experienced thermal runaways while in use, shattering jaws and scalding faces. 

This issue has escalated to the point that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has a page dedicated to avoiding thermal runaways. One infographic on the FDA page offers five steps to avoiding an e-cigarette explosion. Those tips are:

  1. Use an e-cigarette with safety features like a firing lock, ventilation holes, and overcharging protection.
  2. Keep loose batteries in a case to prevent contact with coins, keys, or other metal objects.
  3. Don’t charge an e-cigarette with a tablet or phone charger.
  4. Don’t charge e-cigarettes overnight.
  5. Replace any damaged or wet batteries as soon as possible.

While these tips can be helpful to protecting consumer safety, the manufacturers of e-cigarettes should have been the ones to warn about thermal runaways and designed their products to be incapable of detonating during the course of use. This failure to predict foreseeable incidents that would transform an e-cigarette into an explosive device has been the subject of multiple lawsuits. 

If you or a loved one have been injured by an e-cigarette explosion, you may be eligible to join these lawsuits. In order to do so, you will need a mass torts attorney.

An experienced mass torts attorney can help you join mass actions and advocate for your needs. Additionally, a mass torts attorney can not only advocate for your case, but also withdraw you from a settlement if it doesn’t serve your needs. 

The best place to find a mass torts attorney is Attorney at Law.

At AAL, our nationwide network of attorneys and law firms can match you with a local mass torts attorney in your area. Our partners have the resources, legal expertise, and experience to fight against the largest corporations in the nation and emerge victorious. 

In addition to a distinguished case record, our partners also excel in client care. The biggest source of stress for many clients is the concern of costs. Lawsuits can be financially draining. However, to take the stress away, AAL exclusively partners with law firms that work on contingency.

Under a contingency system, clients will not have to pay anything upfront and, if the lawsuit doesn’t succeed, clients never pay anything. 

Don’t wait. Contact AAL today for a free, no-obligation consultation and begin your journey to justice.

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