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Two Florida men are suing several e-cigarette manufacturers and retailers after alleging that in separate incidents, the devices exploded and caused them severe injuries.
The first lawsuit filed by Mike Morgan of the Orlando firm Morgan & Morgan is on behalf of James Dardini
, who says he bought a KangerTech Subox Mini at a Deltona store called Sunshine Vapor back in September 2015. Dardini says in the lawsuit that he wanted to stop smoking and bought the vaporizer on the advice of store employees.
Three months later, Dardini was driving to work from Deland to Ocoee when he used the vaporizer before 8 a.m. Around 11 a.m., Dardini says the device exploded in his front pocket and caught fire, eventually engulfing his leg in flames. The explosion caused severe burns and landed Dardini in the hospital.
The second lawsuit, also filed by Morgan, is on behalf of James Lauria
, who says he bought a vaporizer at the Destin shop The Vapor Master in June 2015. A month later while he was taking a break from working as a concierge at a Destin resort, Lauria used his vaporizer. The device allegedly exploded in his mouth and caused extensive damage, including puncturing the roof of Lauria's mouth, pushing his teeth through his gums and burning parts of his body, according to the lawsuit.
Dardini, whose case was filed in Volusia County, is suing Kangertech, Sunshine Vapor and Perfect Vape. Lauria, whose case was filed in Okaloosa County, is suing Vapor Master, Nitecore Store and Uvaper LLC. The Orlando Sentinel
reports the e-cigarette companies in Dardini's case have filed a motion to dismiss it, citing an instruction manual that says users should not use the device while driving long distances or in extreme temperatures.
"The scary part about the e-cigarettes is that most of the devices and their components are cheaply made," Morgan says in a statement. "Most of the batteries are simply re-wrapped lithium ion batteries. On top of cheap batteries many of the devices lack proper ventilation turning the device into a pipe bomb where heat discharged from the battery builds up in the e-cigarette until the pressure is so great that it explodes."