Latest Warning about Exploding E-Cigarettes

popcorn lung Bronchiolitis-ObliteransAcross the country, e-cigarettes are a booming business, popular with many segments of society.  But as their popularity grows, so too does the risk to consumers. Defective e-cigarette products have, without warning, been violently exploding while charging and while in use. The explosions have caused burns, broken teeth, facial damage and even lit users and their surroundings on fire.  And their hidden dangers aren’t limited to just explosions.

A new Harvard study, funded by the National Institute of Health, found that more than 75% of the flavored e-cigarette refill liquids tested contained a chemical called diacetyl, a major contributor to the potentially fatal lung disease Bronchiolitis Obliterans, better known as “Popcorn Lung.” The industry is all but unregulated, with few selling these dangerous products held accountable.

$1.885 million verdict

However, one recent verdict did just that.  In the case of Jennifer Ries v. VAPCIGS, a young woman had an e-cigarette battery explode in her lap while riding as a passenger in a speeding vehicle. The exploding battery spewed flames and hot shrapnel over Ms. Ries’s legs, hand, and buttocks, in addition to causing her severe emotional trauma. Attorney Gregory L. Bentley of Shernoff Bidart Echeverria Bentley LLP, representing Ries, sought to impose products liability on the distributor, wholesaler, and retailer of the dangerous, defective product. Following a six-day jury trial, Bentley obtained the first-of-its-kind $1.885 million verdict against the entities responsible for distributing and selling the dangerous, defective e-cigarette.

Just one week before Christmas another explosion of an e-cigarette resulted in third degree burns to the face of Melinda Schaming. Melinda had fortunately just pulled the product out of her mouth when it exploded or the outcome could have been deadly. Ms. Schaming stated, “I want others to know how dangerous these products can be so that others don’t suffer similar injuries to mine or worse.”

Now, the law firms of Shernoff Bidart Echeverria Bentley LLP, Robinson Calcagnie Robinson Shapiro Davis, Inc., and the Pulaski Law Firm, PLLC “have joined forces to hold those who distribute, manufacture, and sell these dangerous, frightening products responsible for the injuries they are causing across the country,” said attorney Gregory Bentley.  The firms are currently investigating more than 16 cases of e-cigarette explosions around the nation. Parties can call (800) 223-3784 or visit to discuss a potential e-cigarette claim or for other questions you may have regarding this issue.

Larry Bodine

Attorney Larry Bodine is Editor of Mass Tort Nexus, and the Editor of The National Trial Lawyers. He is the former Editor in Chief of and the American Bar Association Journal. He is a cum laude graduate of both Seton Hall University Law School and Amherst College.

Leave a Reply