Vancouver Sun

Man files lawsuit over alleged vape pen explosion

- KEITH FRASER keithrfras­er

A young Burnaby man has filed a lawsuit claiming he sujered injuries aiter a vaporizer pen exploded in his mouth.

Shelby Hare says that he was using the electronic cigarette Dec. 30, 2016, when it suddenly and without warning exploded in his mouth, causing flaming material to land on his leg.

In a notice of civil claim filed in B.C. Supreme Court, he claims that the explosion was caused by a defect in the vape pen.

He says he suffered a broken jaw and broken teeth, as well as burns to his face and legs and fractured fingers.

“As a result of the explosion and the negligence of the defendants, the plaintiff has suffered and continues to suffer pain, discomfort, loss of enjoyment of life, depression, anxiety, emotional upset and mental injury,” says the suit.

“As a result of the explosion and negligence of the defendants, the plaintiff has undergone and continues to undergo medical care and has sustained and continues to sustain certain special damages and expenses.”

Hollis Lucky, a lawyer for the plaintiff, said that when he first met his client, it looked like he had been smashed in the face. He said Hare had to be taken to hospital for treatment of his injuries.

The lawsuit says that the vape pen was bought by a friend of Hare in the fall of 2016 at a store in Kamloops and was then given to Hare as a gift. In October 2016, Hare says he purchased a replacemen­t battery at a store in Burnaby called Burnaby Vapor.

“The plaintiff explained to the Burnaby Vapor employee that he wished to purchase a battery for use in the vape pen and that he was relying on the employee’s skill and judgment in selecting a battery for that purpose,” says the suit.

The defendants knew or ought to have known that the vape pen and the battery contained a “latent defect,” which in the absence of reasonable care would cause injury and damage, it says. Hare is seeking general and special damages.

No response has yet been filed to the suit that contains allegation­s that have not been tested in court.

The defendants include EZ Vape, the Kamloops store where the pen was purchased, Burnaby Vapor, Shenzhen Eigate Technology Co. Ltd. and Pacific Smoke Internatio­nal Inc.

Graham Colwell, the owner of Burnaby Vapor, said Wednesday that it was the first time he’d heard of the suit. He said his store sold good-quality merchandis­e.

“We have not had any complaints like that before,” said Colwell of Hare’s allegation­s.

He added that it was “very unfortunat­e” that Hare had been injured during the incident.

The plaintiff explained ... that he wished to purchase a battery for use in the vape pen.

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