A 14-year-old has been blinded in one eye and potentially faces permanent damage to his hands after allegedly testing an e-cigarette at a mall kiosk in Brooklyn, New York. The latest in a string of similar incidents, the teenager’s injury may raise questions over the safety of the devices as well as how much they are marketed to youth.
Leor Domatov said he was trying out an e-cigarette at the Plaza Vapes kiosk in Brooklyn’s Kings Plaza Mall when it exploded in his hands and face, PIX11 reported. The injury occurred after an employee connected one of the vaporizers to the battery of the store.
“I can’t see anything because I got a cut through my cornea,” Domatov told the news station.
Domatov, who is only 14, wouldn’t have legally been able to buy one of the products because state and local law forbids the sale of e-cigarettes to minors. Domatov’s father hired Marc Freund, a partner at Lipsig, Shapey, Manus and Moverman, to reportedly sue the kiosk owner and mall.
"Leor was being marketed at the entrance of the Kings Plaza Mall," Freund told the news station, "a mall that caters to children, and they're marketing these products, causing all these injuries."
Employees at the kiosk reportedly distribute promotional cards advertising the company’s Instagram account and packaging that resemble popular breakfast cereals.
The employee who allowed Domatov to test the e-cigarette had only been on her second day at the job, PIX11 reported. Her boss didn’t respond to a voicemail left by PIX11.