The man, Kenneth Barbero, said the explosion knocked out his teeth, ripped a hole in his tongue, and severely burned his hands. He told local news WNYT, “It was like an M-80 went off in my mouth.”
Around 200 e-cigarette explosions had been reported in the news since 2009, according to a list compiled by eCigOne.
The injuries reported include severe burns, broken teeth, face and mouth injuries, a man whose jaw was wired shut, car accidents, house fires, and more.
Many more incidents were never reported. For example, the list only includes one incident in Seattle, but the Seattle Times says one hospital in the city has treated 14 people for e-cigarette burns since October 2015.
According to Dr. Elisha Brownson of the burn unit at Harborview Medical Center:
“The prevalence of these injuries is not decreasing. We were seeing one a month. Since March, we’ve seen at least two a month.”
Meanwhile, Mr. Barbero joins at least a dozen other victims who have filed lawsuits. Last year, one case involving a woman with 2nd-degree burns went to trial in California. The plaintiff, Jennifer Ries, was awarded $1.9 million for her injuries.