Man Left With Excruciating Burns When E-Cigarette Exploded In His Pocket

32-Year-Old Has Instructed Expert Product Liability Lawyers At Irwin Mitchell To Investigate Incident Which Left Him Unable To Work

30.03.2016

Dave Grimshaw, Press Officer | 0114 274 4397

A man is taking legal action after an electronic cigarette exploded inside his pocket leaving him with excruciating burns.

Colin Crow from Levenshulme, Manchester said the explosion sounded like a firework as flames leapt from his pocket charring his left hand and left thigh, knee and calf.

The 32-year-old economic consultant has instructed expert product liability lawyers at Irwin Mitchell after his agonising injuries left him unable to work.

Colin was standing outside a Sheffield pub when the incident happened on January 30. 

“In an instant it stated firing like a Roman candle,” he said. “It was terrifying.

“The flame shot from my pocket. It was about a foot long. People outside the bar were saying they thought someone had set a firework off.”

Colin said the heat was so intense it melted the cashpoint card inside his pocket.

He was tended to by a bouncer outside the bar until an ambulance arrived and took him to Sheffield’s Northern General Hospital where he was quickly transferred to the burns unit for specialist treatment.

The burns to his hand resulted in temporary loss of movement. The burns to his left leg, which cover two thirds of his thigh (pictured), his calf and behind his left knee have left him unable to walk without considerable pain.

He must now visit doctors every two days for check-ups and dressing changes.

Colin bought the electronic smoking device on December 20, later buying a replacement lithium battery and charger.

“People need to know what these devices are capable of,” he said. “If it had exploded near my face, I can’t bear to think of the consequences. Or if it had happened inside the bar many more people besides me could have been injured.”

According to Action on Smoking and Heath (ASH), an estimated 2.6 million people use battery-powered e-cigarettes in the UK, which release vaporized liquid nicotine and simulate smoking.

E-cigarettes, which do not contain tobacco or produce smoke, can be used in most public places, however recent plans drawn up by the Welsh government have called for a ban on the devices in enclosed public areas with similar plans considered by English health officials.

All lithium batteries can suffer from overheating, but the risk is greater when batteries are manufactured using poor quality components.

Expert Opinion
“This is the latest is a series of incidents in which e-cigarettes have caused extensive burns after exploding in people’s pockets and it is clear that an urgent investigation is needed to determine if more should be done to protect the users.

“Colin has been left with significant burns and has been unable to return to work while he receives ongoing treatment. We are now investigating exactly what caused his device to explode as we seek to help him overcome what happened.

“It is important that e-cigarette users are aware of incidents like these and that anyone else who has experienced similar events to Colin comes forward as they may be able to help with our investigations. It’s crucial that manufacturers learn lessons from these incidents to ensure this cannot happen again.”
Matthew Newbould, Solicitor

Our expert personal injury lawyers could help you claim compensation if you have suffered due to a faulty e-cigarette. See our Faulty E-Cigarette Compensation Claims page for more information.