Man Injured by Exploding E-Cigarette Sues Manufacturers, NYC Shop

What to Know

  • Otis Gooding was working at Grand Central Nov. 23 when the e-cigarette exploded in his pants; he suffered third-degree burns
  • Gooding and his lawyer filed suit against the manufacturers of the device in Brooklyn this week
  • Last year, the feds issued a rule prohibiting e-cigs from being packed in checked luggage to avoid fire risk

A man who was severely burned when the battery of an electronic cigarette exploded in his pants at Grand Central Terminal last fall is suing the manufacturers of the device.

Otis Gooding and his lawyer were at the State Supreme Court House in Brooklyn Wednesday filing suit.

Gooding was working at the wine shop Central Cellars in the transit hub last November when the device ignited. Surveillance video shows sparks flying as he tries to put out the e-cigarette exploding in his pants pocket.

“I got it out of my pocket as fast as I can, but there were still injuries on my leg,” he said.

Gooding had second and third degree burns to his left leg and right hand. He had to undergo a skin graft on his leg to help cover his injuries. He said the healing process has been slow and he still uses a wheelchair at times.

He and his lawyer are pointing to the pain and the treatment he has undergone for the reason they’re suing the e-cigarette’s manufacturers and the store on Canal Street that sold him the device.

“Days in the hospital,” Gooding said. “Fifty-one staples, and even coming out of the hospital it was a slow process. Even now it’s tingling.”

Gooding is suing for an unspecified amount of money.

Electronic cigarettes and other battery-operated electronic smoking devices occasionally do catch fire.

In 2015, the federal Department of Transportation issued a rule prohibiting passengers from packing e-cigarettes in checked luggage to protect against in-flight fires.

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