E-cigarette explosion tears chunk off Tennessee man's cheek

Man loses chunk of cheek in vape pen explosion


NSFW    CORDOVA, TENNESSEE — A Tennessee man is taking to court several companies involved in the selling and manufacturing of an e-cigarette that exploded in his mouth.

According to a lawsuit cited by the Memphis Commercial Appeal, David Bishop had been using the device last May when the lithium battery inside blew up.

The blast broke several of his teeth and tore a chunk of flesh from the upper lip to the lower cheek. He also got chemical burns to his face, mouth, tongue, and hands from battery acid.

The 25-year-old survived but had to get 65 stitches in his face and missed weeks of work.

In his lawsuit, he's seeking monetary damages against Create a Cig, where he bought the vape pen, Cali-based e-cigarette seller VGOD, and a U.S. affiliate of LG who supposedly made the batteries.

Both Create a Cig and VGOD claim Bishop brought the explosion on himself, but didn't really specify how. LG USA, meanwhile, is asking to be dismissed from the suit saying it doesn't make batteries.

Consumer Reports wrote in a 2016 article that lithium ion batteries are relatively safe, though in some cases a failure can cause the battery to heat up to 1,000 degrees and go kablam.

And while flat lithium batteries just catch fire, the e-cig's cylindrical structure tends to propel exploding batteries across the room like bullets or small rockets.

The report does say e-cigarette explosions are rare, but pretty deadly when they do happen, and have so far killed two people in the U.S.

The U.S. Fire Administration recommends sticking to the vape pen charger instead of just plugging it into any old USB port, which could lead to disaster.
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