A Bremen, Ga., man has filed a lawsuit against the maker of an e-cigarette that exploded in his pants pocket at work, leaving him with third-degree burns and months of painful recovery.
Like many e-cigarette users who have been injured by exploding batteries inside the devices, Jeremy McDow said the incident started with a sudden suspicion something was wrong when he felt an itching on his leg that quickly turned into an “extreme burning.”
Mr. McDow told Fox 5 Atlanta that by the time he leapt up, his “entire leg was engulfed in flames.” The fire was so intense that his pants were burned onto his leg and his hand was severely burned when he reached in his pocket to get the device out. When he threw the e-cigarette batteries on the ground, they melted through the floor tile.
Physicians who treated Mr. McDow told him the e-cigarette was “the equivalent of a miniature hand grenade going off in my pocket,” according to Fox 5 Atlanta. The injuries required the father of two to spend two weeks in the hospital and he faces another nine months of recovery.
Mr. McDow told Fox 5 the incidents have turned his family’s world upside down. He said his kids, ages 3 and 5, don’t understand why he can’t play with them like he used to. With his wife in college, he’s also the sole source of income in the family, and the lost work and medical bills have put a huge financial strain on them.
Mr. McDow told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that people have to be more aware of the dangers that the electronic devices pose, and said the products should come with warnings. He said that more awareness is the main motivation of his lawsuit.
“I’m tired of seeing this happen. I’m tired of looking on social media and seeing phones burn people, e-cigarettes burn people, hoverboards burning houses down,” he told Fox 5.
“This has to stop at some point, you know, a battery is not worth this,” McDow said. “A battery is not worth a human life. It’s not.”