Jennifer Ries and her husband, Xavier, were on their way to the airport for a trip from their home in California to Brazil. While in the car, Jennifer plugged in her VapCigs e-cigarette charger and it suddenly spewed hot metal. The hot metal caught her dress on fire.
Her husband immediately threw his iced coffee on her to extinguish the flame, but she was still seriously injured. Ries suffered second degree burns on her buttocks, thighs, and hand according to a lawsuit that she filed against the maker of the e-cigarette and charger.
The couple missed their flight to Brazil where they were going to help build a community center and children’s home. Instead, Jennifer ended up in an urgent care unit, and then a burn unit where she remained for several days. Two years later, she still has to visit doctors at the burn center.
Jennifer says she was charging her e-cigarette when she noticed an odd smell. Her husband asked her if she had nail polish in the car, “I looked around and I saw the battery to the e-cigarette dripping. I went to unscrew it and the battery started shooting fire toward me and then exploded and shot the metal pieces into my lap,” Ries said.
An attorney for the Ries’s, Gregory Bentley, says, “When a company, regardless of who it is, puts a product into the marketplace, it should be safe.”
Bentley says the bigger issue here is that the e-cigarette industry is growing rapidly but is not being regulated.
“Right now, at least how it stands, the FDA is regulating this whole industry as a tobacco product, so all of the component parts, including the battery, the charger and so on, are not tested for safety,” Bentley said.
The industry may be re-thinking things after a California jury has now awarded Mrs. Ries $1.9 million in the product liability lawsuit.
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