We’ve previously written about the design flaws in an e-cigarette device that can cause them to explode and harm users. On their own, these flaws can be standard product liability cases, where the companies that made and sold the products are liable for harm caused by the normal use of the product.
However, there is a subculture of e-cigarette device vape users who “mod” or modify their e-cig device. Most of those modifications are to allow the user to practice “sub-ohm vaping,” where the device consumes the vaping chemicals at a faster pace, allowing the user to have larger volumes of vapor or vapor of a higher concentration.
Some of these modified devices have exploded, which may or may not mean the modder is the one responsible for the accident. It all depends on the details of the case.
While an automobile manufacturer could be sued for selling a car with a design flaw that leads to fires, the manufacturer would likely not be held liable if someone were to add aftermarket parts that ultimately cause the car to catch on fire or fail in some other way. In the same manner, it’s possible for an e-cig modder to make the device unstable and likely to explode or ignite.
However, that does not mean all mods eliminate responsibility from the manufacturers and sellers of the e-cig device. It’s possible that the modifications people made were minor or unrelated to the parts that caused the accident.
Modifications certainly can make it harder to prove a product liability case, but they need to be sorted out on a case-by-case basis. We’re happy to go over the details with you and help determine if you have a case if you call us at 617-917-3917.