Man whose e-cigarette exploded sues manufacturer and store
CONCORD — A lawsuit has been filed against the manufacturer of and the store that sold a vapor cigarette that exploded in a Moultonborough man’s pocket last month, causing second- and third-degree burns.
McGrath Law Firm filed the lawsuit on Thursday against Shenzhen Kanger Technology Co. of China, the manufacturer, and retailer Smoker’s Haven Smoke Shop on Union Avenue in Laconia.
Matthew Gilson, 26, suffered his injuries when the vapor cigarette exploded in his pocket on Jan. 20.
According to the suit, a lithium battery in the device exploded while it was in Gilson’s pocket, tearing his pants and undergarments and burning his flesh. Gilson was at work at the time and the explosion was caught on video.
The lawsuit claims the vaporizer and battery were bought at Smoker’s Haven Smoke Shop, and the battery appears to have been manufactured by Shenzhen Kanger Technology Co. Ltd. in China.
The lawsuit claims store employees installed the battery and assembled the vapor cigarette for Gilson.
“The public needs to be aware about the possible dangers involved with e-cigarettes and vaporizers. This victim would hate to see this happen to someone else,” said attorney Peter McGrath. “More and more people are vaping, thinking it’s a safe alternative to smoking. But there are serious risks involved.”
According to the lawsuit, the Federal Emergency Management Agency reports 25 similar incidents between 2010 and 2014 in California, Colorado and New York, and estimates many more are never reported.
McGrath said Gilson is in a great deal of pain and has already undergone two surgeries and skin grafts. He is scheduled for lengthy treatment and a long, painful recovery.
The lawsuit requests payment for medical bills, treatment, and pain and suffering.