Marc Freund, Esq., Partner at Lipsig, Shapey, Manus & Moverman, is among a small group of attorneys pursuing lawsuits on behalf of clients injured by exploding electronic cigarettes and vaporizers.Marc has been selected to represent a number of individuals in New York and across the country, who have sustained injuries when a Vape Pen, or E-Cigarette or Battery, exploded. Multiple News sources have contacted him regarding his legal expertise. Below are links to the articles.
People across the country have been severely harmed after e-cig explosions. That’s why our e-cig attorneys are spearheading a national effort to hold the manufacturers of vaporizer batteries accountable.
Lipsig Lawyers Accepting E-Cig Explosion Lawsuits Nationwide
While its long-term health consequences have yet to be determined, vaping has already been praised as a possible “answer” to the well-known dangers of smoking. Experimenting first with cheap “cig-a-like” e-cigarettes, available at nearly every convenience store in America, many former smokers have now graduated to more complex vape mods, and e-cigarettes have ballooned to a $3.5 billion industry.
Today, there’s still little evidence that vaping is any safer than smoking, but on one point, the trend appears to be far more dangerous. Between 2009 and August 2014, at least 25 Americans were injured by exploding e-cigs, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency. That number, taken from media reports, is likely to be far lower than the actual toll electronic cigarettes have already taken on the lives, and livelihoods, of vapers.
“Cheap” Batteries Lead To Severe Injuries
E-cigarettes can explode, and it appears the culprit for these devastating injuries lies in the lithium-ion batteries, often cheaply manufactured, used to power vaporizers. Today, survivors of these explosions have begun to file e cigarette lawsuits, hoping to hold the manufacturers of defective batteries, along with those retailers who failed to warn consumers of the risks, accountable for their negligence.
Lithium-ion batteries are used in everything from laptops to electric cars, but in these higher-value consumer electronics, their charging cycles are strictly monitored by sophisticated computer programs. The batteries used in vaporizers, on the other hand, can become dangerously over- or under-charged.
The batteries can also short-circuit, explode after being damaged or catch fire under extreme temperatures.
Even routine charging cycles may lead to fatal injuries, says Venkat Viswanathan, a professor of mechanical engineering at Carnegie Mellon. Dendrites, highly-conductive filaments, can form at one end of the battery, ultimately causing a short-circuit. In his interview with Wired Magazine in February 2016, Viswanathan said the dendrites could be potentially disastrous: “you have basically something equivalent to gasoline inside your lithium-ion battery, and so immediately it catches fire.”
Learn more about the batteries, often cheaply made and defective, that are causing e-cig explosions here.
Exploding E Cig Featured News Stories
By Marc Freund
August 12, 2016- Delaware Man Suffers Second- Degree Burns From E-Cigarette Explosion
A man from Bear received second-degree burns to his leg after an electronic cigarette battery exploded in his pocket. He filed a lawsuit for his injuries that led him to undergo skin graft surgery. The injured man had two batteries in his front pockets, and one of them exploded. His son witnessed the fire and could smell burning flesh, according to the man’s attorney. The lawsuit filed also states that Delaware Vapor, which sold the complainant the lithium-ion battery replacements and e-cigarette device, as well as the battery manufacturers, were negligent and should have warned users of the danger.
July 6, 2016- Multiple E-Cigarette Users Filing Lawsuits
Time recently reported that multiple e-cigarette users have filed lawsuits stating that their battery-powered devices exploded and caused severe injuries in some instances. One of the users highlighted in these e-cigarette lawsuits alleged that her e-cigarette exploded following a battery change that led to battery acid spilling across her body. The acid caused burns and dental damage. Some of the e-cigarette models that have been mentioned in filed cases include those made by Chinese companies Kangertech, iPV Technology Co., and Sigelei.
June 30, 2016 – E-Cigarette Explodes And Injures Man’s Face
A man from Tustin was recently injured after an e-cigarette exploded in his face. According to the Orange County Fire Authority, firefighters responded to reports of a person who was burned. The e-cigarette exploded in the man’s face while he was smoking it in his bedroom. The man suffered burns and cuts to his face, he remains in hospital. A small piece of the e-cigarette was lodged in the man’s mouth and needed to be removed surgically. The e-cigarette smoker has stated that he never wants to get near another e-cigarette in his life because his experience with the explosion was so scary.
May 12, 2016 – Senator Chuck Schumer Demands Investigation, Recall Of Defective E-Cigs
At a press conference in Manhattan on Sunday, Senior US Senator from New York Charles Schumer called on the FDA to investigate reports of exploding electronic cigarettes, according to Newsday. Schumer’s comments focused on defective lithium-ion batteries, urging federal officials to use their new regulatory authority over e-cigs to “prevent this from happening.”
“We cannot look the other way now that [electronic cigarettes are] regulated and more Americans will use them,” Schumer said. “We ask the FDA to do its job and investigate why these cigarettes are exploding.” Schumer pointed to four such explosions in New York, all of which occurred just in the last month.
In response, FDA spokesman Michael Fellerbaum told reporters, “the FDA remains concerned about adverse events associated with the use of electronic nicotine delivery systems, including overheating and exploding batteries as reported in the news.” Fellerbaum declined to commit on possible recalls.
May 5, 2016 – FDA Gains Authority To Regulate E-Cigarettes
In a long-awaited ruling, the FDA has finalized new authorities which will grant the agency power to regulate “electronic nicotine delivery systems” as it already regulates traditional combustible cigarettes. In a press release, the FDA heralded its new rule, titled “Deeming Tobacco Products To Be Subject to the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act,” as “a milestone in consumer protection.”
Under the agency’s new authority, e-cigarette manufacturers both large and small will be required to:
- register their manufacturing establishments with the agency
- provide complete product listings to the FDA
- report ingredients to the agency, including harmful or potentially-harmful substances
- undergo premarket review and authorization, including scientific review of safety risks
- place health warnings both on product packaging and in advertisements
New tobacco products, including e-cigs, won’t be allowed to market themselves as “modified-risk” products (as in “light” cigarettes), unless authorized by the FDA. The new measures also include increased restrictions on youth access to the products, including a ban on free samples and federally-mandated photo-ID checks at the time of purchase.
The rule will go into effect on August 8, 2016.
May 3, 2016 – Owner Of Plaza Vapes Kiosk Previously Convicted For Role In Illegal Bath Salts Ring
Igor “Iggy” Kanchik, owner of the Vape On kiosk where a 14-year-old boy was blinded in an e-cig explosion, previously pleaded guilty for his role in a Seattle-based ring that sold $2 million worth of illegal bath salts, according to a New York Daily News report.
“Bath salts,” a range of synthetic drugs originally hidden in containers advertised as bath salts, are banned on the federal level and in at least 41 states, including New York. But in 2011, Igor Kanchik was among 15 people arrested for their involvement in an illegal ring established to distribute and sell the drugs through shops in Brooklyn and Manhattan. According to the indictment, Kanchik accepted at least one package of bath salts, sent from Washington State, and then sold 25 grams of the designer drug to an undercover DEA agent. He pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiracy to deliver misbranded drugs in 2012, was fined $1,100 and sentenced to two years of probation.
Marc Freund, a Partner here and the attorney representing the 14-year-old, told the Daily News: “this is shockingly reckless disregard for child safety by the mall. He’s convicted and sentenced and yet Kings Plaza, with no background check, allows him to open a vape kiosk and allows him to peddle these e-cigarettes.” Freund says the mall allowed Kanchik’s Vape On kiosk to operate without insurance.
Kanchik has refused to allow officials at the Kings Plaza Mall, where his vape shop is located, inspect the kiosk, sources for the Daily News say. He hasn’t yet provided the mall with any contact information for his lawyer, either, and claims the shop’s video cameras were unplugged prior to the explosion that left our client with severe eye injuries and chemical burns.
Queens Woman Suffers Severe Burns After E-Cig Battery Explodes In Pocket
Katrina Williams was just getting out of her car when an electronic cigarette battery, manufactured by LG Electronics, suddenly exploded in her pocket. Williams, 26, says the battery went off like a “firecracker,” tearing through her jeans and leaving her right leg and knee badly burned.
Now, Williams plans to file suit, against both the battery’s manufacturer and the Manhattan vape store where she purchased it. In an interview with New York Daily News, her attorney, Marc Freund, called the explosion inexplicable: “there have been incidents where the battery comes into contact with water, or loose change, but this one is unexplainable. There was nothing in her pocket. The battery wasn’t attached to anything.”
You can read more about the case on ABC 7 New York.
14-Year-Old Partially Blinded After E-Cigarette Explosion
A 14-year-old boy was blinded in his left eye, also sustaining chemical burns to his hands, when a vaporizer he was holding exploded at Brooklyn’s Kings Plaza mall.
Both state and local laws prohibit the sale or advertising of e-cigs to minors, but according to the boy’s attorney, Marc Freund, an employee at the Vape On kiosk allowed the boy to handle several devices, even going so far as to plug the vaporizer in as a demonstration. That’s when the unthinkable happened, the teenager says, and the electronic cigarette blew up in his face.
Speaking with PIX11, Freund said, “The duty falls to Kings Plaza and the kiosk owner to make sure there’s signs in place to warn the children. There was not even a single sign advising of the city and state law until after this incident takes place.”