Bakersfield Man Suffers Serious Injuries After E-Cigarette Explosion

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Last month, 23-year-old Vicente Garza of Bakersfield had an e-cigarette blow up in his face.

“It exploded in my face,” Garza said.

The lithium-ion battery exploded all over his bathroom, and left him with several serious injuries.

Garza suffered damage to his mouth and doctors were even forced to amputate part of his left index finger as a result of the explosion.

“I never thought something like this could happen,” Garza said.

A FEMA report states that similar incidents have happened many times before, citing 25 individual cases occurring in the US between 2009-2014.

Garza’s attorney Greg Bentley has already filed a lawsuit on behalf of two other victims as well.

“It’s unconscionable that these products are out there, and they are randomly exploding all across the country,” Bentley said.

Bentley and his firm also represent former LA Galaxy soccer player Danny Califf, who was hurt in February when an e-cigarette exploded next to his face.

In September, an e-cigarette battery exploded while in Greg Phillips pocket, leaving the Bakersfield man with second-degree burns all over his left leg.

“This is an unregulated industry,  that is causing tremendous harm across the country,” Bentley added.

The lawsuit names the distributer, wholesaler and retailer, but Bentley admits that they are hard to track down because they often move and change names.

“It really is dangerous, it’s not something to play around with,” Garza said.

Garza said he had used the e-cigaretes to help him quit smoking regular cigarettes, but now says he no longer vapes or smokes at all.

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