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CBS Miami Reports on Spahlinger Case

Evan Spahlinger looks much better now than he did four months ago when his e-cigarette exploded like a pipe bomb in his face, causing him to inhale flame and battery acid and leaving him covered in third degree burns.

After a series of surgeries, Spahlinger now has his face back and can breathe on his own. Now, he is using his story to warn others of the danger associated with e-cigarette use.

“I literally thought I was going to die,” he told CBS Miami. “[E-cigarettes] were supposed to be a safer and healthier way of [smoking]. If I would have known that there is a risk of me fighting for my life and being in a hospital, I would never have picked it up.”

Kelley/Uustal’s John J. Uustal contends that lack of regulation in the e-cigarette industry is putting people at serious risk. According to Kelley/Uustal attorney Catherine Darlson, the devices cannot and should not be considered safe alternatives to cigarettes as long there is no regulation and designers and manufacturers are not held responsible for making dangerous products.

In recent years, there have been dozens of cases involving e-cigarette explosions, many of which occur when the lithium ion battery overheats. According to Attorney Darlson, the vape model Spahlinger was using contains a design defect that does not allow for adequate ventilation. Heat that has nowhere to go becomes trapped within the device, creating an event known as thermal runaway. This frequently happens with batteries and can cause an explosion.

The manufacturer of the device and battery, as well as the shop that sold him the device, have all been named in the lawsuit. Neither party has agreed to comment.

For more, visit CBS Miami’s website to view the full text and video of “Dangers of E-Cigs, Don’t Get Burned Again.” Be sure to keep checking our blog for further updates on this case.

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