Product Liability

E-Cigarette Fire Spurs Compensation Claim

An economic consultant from Manchester, who was seriously burned after an e-cigarette fire, has sought legal advice for his injuries.

The victim, Colin Crow from Levenshulme in Manchester, was injured whilst on a night out with his friends in Sheffield last January. The thirty-two year-old had kept his e-cigarette in his back pocket, but it suddenly exploded, with flames likened to a firework by one on looker.

Colin received immediate first aid from staff members in the bar before an ambulance arrived to bring him to Sheffield’s Northern General Hospital. There, Colin was transferred to the burns unit and received treatment for the burns along his left leg and arm, which had been damaged as he tried to put out the flame.

The injuries prevented Colin, an economic consultant, from returning to work for a period after his accident. He also suffered from a temporary loss of mobility, and still endures considerable pain when he walks. Since his accident, Colin has sought legal counsel concerning compensation for the fire.

Though any lithium battery could potentially catch fire if it is overheated, the risk of fire substantially increases if the battery is of poor quality. If it can be proven that the battery posed a risk to Colin when it was sold to him, he could claim compensation under the Consumer Protection Act 2987 or the Consumer Rights Act 2015.
When speaking to the Manchester Evening News, Colin’s solicitor commented that  “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. We are now investigating exactly what caused his device to explode as we seek to help him overcome what happened”.

Family to Make Claim after Hoverboard Fire

A family have sought legal counsel after a hoverboard purchased at Costco caused a property fire.

The accident occurred in January 2015 when Vinh Hung Chiem and Thu Tram from Wyke, near Bradford, purchased their two children hoverboards from Costco as Christmas gifts. However, when the appliances had been plugged into an electrical socket such that the battery could be charged, the hoverboard caught fire and set light to the family’s home.

A friend of the family, Jibril Fairs – aged eleven – saw the fire and alerted the adults. The and Hung’s children managed to leave the property with only minor burns, after which they were taken to hospital by Thu (who was also in the house when the fire started).

Though the fire did not cause many physical injuries, it did destroy the family’s home. Thu also claims that the children suffer nightmares, telling the BBC that  “The kids could have been killed. They all believed they were going to die in the fire. Everything was ruined in the fire… it’s turned our lives upside down”.

An investigation into the accident was carried out by the West Yorkshire Fire Service, which confirmed that the fire had been started by the hoverboard. A spokesperson for the service added that it was probably the lithium batteries used in the hoverboards that caused it to overheat and ignite.

The family has since sought legal advice to investigate whether or not they can make a claim against Costco for product liability. Thu said: “We thought we bought a reliable product from a trusted retailer and we want to know how something with so much potential to cause this type of devastation was sold to us.”

The family’s solicitor commented that the family should be able to make a claim under the Consumer Rights Act 2015. “This is a terrible tragedy and we are looking into this matter but we have no comment at this time.”