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Our client experienced a significant injury when a vape device that he had purchased exploded in his hand. Through the use of mechanical and electrical engineering experts, it was determined that the cause of the explosion was a defective lithium-ion battery. This battery had been purchased from the same retailer that sold the vape device.
There were some important takeaways from this case. Lithium-ion batteries are commonly counterfeited. Many batteries thought to have been created by a reputable manufacturer are in fact rewrapped fakes that do not undergo the same quality control measure. When these counterfeits do not meet design and manufacturing industry standards, they pose a real risk to consumers.
Consequently, consumers need to take extra precautions to ensure the battery, regardless of the device it is intended to power, is what it purports to be.
Next, the explosions associated with these battery failures are significant. The one experienced by this client was described as the equivalent of having a mortar explode in the hand. Finally, this case prompted my client’s treating surgeon to do two things that I have never seen an expert do in all my 25 years of practice. She provided her consultation and testimony for free. The case also prompted her to publish an article in a medical journal about the nature and extent of the dangers of blast injuries caused by vape devices. That is how seriously she views the public health threat posed by these products.