Otis Gooding, a 31-year-old father who suffered burn injuries to his leg and hand when his e-cigarette exploded, has left the hospital after 12 days, according to the New York Daily News. Gooding required skin graft surgery, where doctors removed skin from his right thigh and then grafted it over the wound on his left thigh. He may still require physical therapy as his leg and hand continue to heal.
Gooding suffered his injuries on November 23 when his e-cigarette, a Wismec Reuleaux RX200, began to spark and then exploded while it was in his pocket at work. He described it as “firecrackers, a couple of booms,” according to the Daily News.
Now, he faces an uncertain future as he and his doctors evaluate the full extent and prognosis of his injuries. He still uses a wheelchair and is unsure if he will ever be able to work again, citing difficulty walking and using his injured hand.
Cause of E-Cigarette Explosion Under Investigation
Fire marshals are still investigating the device, trying to determine what caused the e-cigarette to catch fire and explode. Gooding and his lawyer plan to have the device examined once fire officials return it to him. At that time, they plan to take legal action.
While it is difficult to say without knowing the results of the investigation, the liable party in cases like this is often the device manufacturer. Product manufacturers have a legal duty to produce products that are safe for consumption. If consumers are using the product in its intended manner when it malfunctions, then the manufacturer may be liable for any damages it causes.
The recoverable damages depend on the victim’s medical bills, lost wages and earning capacity, pain and suffering, and other economic or noneconomic effects of the accident. Please see our page on common legal questions if you would like to learn more about the legal options available after a burn injury. Our burn injury attorney page also sheds light on the legal process.
If you or a loved one suffered burn injuries and you would like to speak with an attorney, please call our lawyer referral specialists at 844-549-8774 for help finding a lawyer who can help with your burn injury claim.