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CBS Miami: "Burned by an E-Cig"

Evan Spahlinger was afraid that he was going to lose half of his face when the battery portion of his e-cigarette exploded like a pipe bomb while he was using it. Kept in a medically induced coma while he recovered in the burn unit of Kendall Regional Medical Center, Evan’s face, throat, esophagus, and lungs suffered severe and painful burns that nearly cost him his life. Four months after the horrifying accident, Evan has made a remarkable recovery, and is now warning others that e-cigarettes really are not as safe as they are advertised to be.

CBS Miami has posted a new video of this exclusive story.

While many people recognize the danger of these unregulated devices, there are still some who are saying that Spahlinger is at fault for the accident due to mishandling of the device. According to Spahlinger and his attorneys at Kelley/Uustal, John J. Uustal and Catherine C. Darlson, the device was used as intended and malfunctioned without any warning.

Kelley/Uustal has filed a lawsuit on Spahlinger’s behalf alleging negligence on the part of the device manufacturer and the shop who sold it to him. The lawsuit claims that the e-cigarette model Spahlinger used has a dangerous design flaw that allows trapped heat to build up within the device. This lack of ventilation is what caused the battery to overheat and explode, sending battery acid and flames into Spahlinger’s face and mouth. Furthermore, the suit alleges that the “vape shop” where the device was purchased did not provide any warnings that the product had the potential to be dangerous.

As long as e-cigarettes remain unregulated, more people are in danger of getting hurt. Already, there have been dozens of reports of e-cigarette fires and explosions in recent years, many of which occur while the lithium ion battery is charging.

Visit the link above to view a preview of the CBS exclusive “Burned by an E-Cig.” Check back with Kelley/Uustal’s blog for regular updates on the Spahlinger case.

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