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Imagine this, you’re casually doing your daily routine. The daily grind where the last thing on your mind is whether something is going to blow up in your bag or handbag. You’re so focused on everything else but that, whether it’s doing your grocery shopping or running the typical bank/post office errand, you really won’t have much time to think once, let alone twice, about the mechanics happening within your e-cigarette device. Problem is, this could be a very fatal oversight for you.
9/11: We’re all afraid of gun shots and the fear of terrorism pretty much consumes us on this day. It’s a day of terror and heartbreak and you could only imagine what it would be like to be under a circumstance like that. For Mara Mcinerney, this was no different.
Old Bridge, New Jersey on 9/11: A simple shopping spree in the mall was lined up for Mara Mcinerney. Everything was pretty straightforward to start with, she’d browse around the shops, see something she liked, looked at it a little longer and questioned whether to buy it or not to buy it. Rather simple, don’t you think? When she finally set her eyes on a pair of sunglasses she liked, she went to the cashier (just like every other decent person) to pay for it. Problem was, she was completely oblivious to what was happening within her bag. The fact that her e-cigarette battery she left in her purse pocket was starting to overheat despite it being completely standstill. The fact that the heat was getting out of control to the point of explosion. The final result was a beautiful $1,200 Louis Vuitton bag up in flames with an unbelievable amount of smoke rising from it.
“I had the battery in this pocket by itself, it exploded through the pocket, charred and melted everything in the bag” claimed Mara Mcinerney.
The explosion set off a loud bang that sounded very similar to gun shots being fired which brought the fear of 9/11 happening all over again.
“What I heard first was the bang, and it being 9/11, it kind of sounded like a gunshot… The whole bag was engulfed in flames.”
The idea that this could have happened anywhere shocks her. What if the battery had exploded in a pants pocket? Or even a front shirt pocket (where some guys like to keep little gadgets)? What if a child managed to get their hands on the battery when it was at the brink of explosion?
“Just knowing I have my bag in the backseat, daughter in the car seat next to it, it’s scary and it could happen to everyone”
We have heard stories time and time again about how e-cigarette batteries have just seemed to spontaneously combust and the limelight turns to the e-cigarette manufacturers and the concern of how under-regulated the e-cigarette/vaporizer industry truly is.
Looking at a similar account which happened in Arlington during the month of June this year, Johnnie Flores was severely burnt from her e-cigarette battery exploding in her pocket, “I looked down and I saw sparks flying out of my pocket… It felt like an explosion in my hand.”
As a result of the mechanical failure in the battery, Flores was hospitalized for severe burns after a standalone battery exploded in her pocket. It is highly concerning that batteries could just explode despite not being in operation and it has changed the lives of many of those who have seen the worst end of the spectrum. Flores now has to live with the scars on her body to in remembrance of the dangers of e-cigarette batteries.
The only remedy she is able to seek is suing Luxor Vapors (the store which she purchased the batteries from) for at least $100,000 in damages. The basis of her lawsuit is that the defendant claimed that the batteries were “safe for use” and that they were “free from defects”.
It is a very difficult position to figure out where the duty of care lies in the sense of whether the manufacturers of the battery should be held accountable or the store owners themselves. Truth is, consumers are more likely to go after the immediate seller which tends to be the store owner. However, the liability falls in the faulty product itself which would tie back to the manufacturer.