Tuesday, February 9, 2016
Exploding E-cigarette Causes Truck Driver to Crash and Burn
What is a product liability lawsuit?
Products that are dangerous or defective can result in injury or death. In fact, thousands of injuries occur every year in the U.S. because of product defects. There are, however, legal rules called product liability laws that protect individuals from defective or dangerous products and make it easier to recover damages than in other personal injury lawsuits.
One recent case of a potential product liability lawsuit involves a trucker who crashed on I-65 in Indiana. The truck reportedly swerved onto the median and struck a guardrail before coming to a stop. Removing the semi-tractor trailer took 3 hours, according to reports. Indiana State troopers said the trucker lost control after an e-cigarette “exploded in his face.” The driver suffered injuries not because of the crash, but rather from the exploding e-cigarette.
When learning of the accident, however, the owner of the five Kentuckiana Derb e-cigs locations, said that e-cigarette users should not be alarmed and that crashes like this are “extremely rare.” Not much consolation to the burned trucker! E-cigarettes have become increasingly popular and more than nine million Americans are reportedly using them regularly. The question remains whether or not the exploding e-cigarette will be grounds for a product liability lawsuit.
What are the grounds for a product liability lawsuit?
In order to bring a product liability lawsuit, the law requires you to prove a number of elements in a claim, including:
- You were injured or suffered losses
- The product is defective
- The defect caused your injury
- You were using the product as it was intended
What causes product defects?
Products can be defective because of manufacturing errors or design defects. In this case, if the e-cigarette was flawed because of a problem that arose when it was being manufactured, such as a crack, the truck driver may be able to bring a successful product liability claim. Proving that there was a design flaw, however, would be more difficult because this requires showing that others may have been harmed by exploding e-cigarettes.
While the circumstances surrounding this crash remain unclear, some key questions that need to be answered include what type of device the driver was using, how old it was, and whether the driver was using the device correctly.
Luckily no one else was injured. Had the trucker caused an accident that resulted in injuries to other drivers, there may have also been grounds for a personal injury lawsuit against the truck driver. These questions can best be answered by a qualified personal injury attorney who has experience bringing product liability lawsuits.