Last updated: 12:30 PM ET, Tue October 11 2016

Man Sues Airline After Being Burned By E-Cigarette

Airlines & Airports | Rich Thomaselli | October 11, 2016

Man Sues Airline After Being Burned By E-Cigarette

PHOTO: A man is suing Norwegian Air Shuttle after his e-cigarette overheated. (Courtesy Thinkstock)

Well, it’s going to be a bit strange to grasp the logic here, but here goes.

A Connecticut man traveling from London to New York recently suffered third-degree burns to his right hand and first- and second-degree burns to his left hand when his electronic cigarette overheated. It was charging in the outlet and began smoldering in the seat-back pocket in front of him after he fell asleep.

Naturally, being a member of the most litigious society in the world, the man has decided to file suit.

Yep, the man, Eric T. Wiberg, says it’s Norwegian Air Shuttle’s fault in the first place for even letting him charge his device. The suit was filed in Brooklyn federal court.

Wiberg, a former sailor whose specialty as an author is maritime-themed books, is seeking unspecified damages, according to the New York Post.

Presumably, he is suing over a faulty outlet, but in court papers he said the incident would never have happened if Norwegian Air had not allowed him to charge the device in the first place.

When the e-cigarette began to overheat and smolder, Wiberg awoke from the smell and the “panicked crew,” as described in the suit, quickly ran over with a bucket of water.

Wiberg said he sustained the burns to his hands when he grabbed the device and plunged it into the bucket.

Norwegian Air Shuttle has declined to comment on pending litigation but hinted that the man might have been charging the device on his own when an airline spokesperson noted that the U.S. Department of Transportation banned e-cigarettes in March.

The incident took place in June.


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