It was a morning like any other when Naples resident Evan Spahlinger went
to use his e-cigarette, as he had many times before, when it suddenly
exploded in his face. The explosion sent flames shooting from the device,
burning off his eyebrows and causing him to inhale flames. He suffered
severe burns to his mouth, esophagus, and lungs, and nearly suffocated
from internal swelling. The internal damage was so severe that Spahlinger
had to spend a week in a medically-induced coma at Kendall Regional Medical
Center’s burn unit, where he was hooked up to a machine that could
breathe for him.
Spahlinger has a long road to recovery ahead of him, both physically and
psychologically. He is lucky to be alive after this accident and will
require a lifetime of constant care.
Kelley/Uustal has filed a lawsuit on behalf of Spahlinger in the Miami-Dade
Circuit Court, alleging that Vaping American Made Products, an Anaheim-based
manufacturer, designed a dangerous product with a defective lithium ion
battery and failed to account for the likelihood of an explosion due to
the inherent overheating risks associated with that type of battery.
There have been several e-cigarette lawsuits filed across the country after
fires and explosions during charging or use. While e-cigarette companies
often try to argue that the explosions are a result of user error, there
is absolutely nothing to suggest user negligence in this case. The e-cigarette
model used by Spahlinger was an expensive American made product that was
used exactly as intended and instructed.
John J. Uustal is worried about the court system’s decreasing ability to enforce
design changes through punitive damages and the ongoing lack of industry
regulation for these devices. Without very high verdicts, there is not
enough incentive for device manufacturers to change how they do business,
and more people are in danger of getting hurt.
Kelley/Uustal is prepared to aggressively pursue justice in this case.
Read more about this widely publicized story via the
Daily Business Review.