It was a morning like any other when Naples resident Evan Spahlinger went to use his e-cigarette, as he had many times before when it suddenly exploded in his face. The explosion sent flames shooting from the device, burning off his eyebrows and causing him to inhale flames. He suffered severe burns to his mouth, esophagus, and lungs, and nearly suffocated from internal swelling. The internal damage was so severe that Spahlinger had to spend a week in a medically-induced coma at Kendall Regional Medical Center’s burn unit, where he was hooked up to a machine that could breathe for him.
Spahlinger has a long road to recovery ahead of him, both physically and psychologically. He is lucky to be alive after this accident and will require a lifetime of constant care. Kelley/Uustal has filed a lawsuit on behalf of Spahlinger in the Miami-Dade Circuit Court, alleging that Vaping American Made Products, an Anaheim-based manufacturer, designed a dangerous product with a defective lithium-ion battery and failed to account for the likelihood of an explosion due to the inherent overheating risks associated with that type of battery.
There have been several e-cigarette lawsuits filed across the country after fires and explosions during charging or use. While e-cigarette companies often try to argue that the explosions are a result of user error, there is absolutely nothing to suggest user negligence in this case. The e-cigarette model used by Spahlinger was an expensive American made product that was used exactly as intended and instructed.
Attorney John J. Uustal is worried about the court system’s decreasing ability to enforce design changes through punitive damages and the ongoing lack of industry regulation for these devices. Without very high verdicts, there is not enough incentive for device manufacturers to change how they do business, and more people are in danger of getting hurt.
Kelley/Uustal is prepared to aggressively pursue justice in this case. Read more about this widely publicized story via the Daily Business Review