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Vicente Garza was getting ready for bed in his Bakersfield home when he decided to use an electronic cigarette.

He lifted the device to his mouth, pushed the vapor button and started to inhale. Then it exploded near his face, badly burning his mouth and dominant left hand, which was holding the device. Doctors amputated Garza’s left index finger, and he had to undergo immediate surgery on his tongue after the Oct. 16 incident. He still can barely eat.

Garza’s attorney, Gregory L. Bentley, said Thursday that he had filed a product liability lawsuit against the e-cigarette’s manufacturer and designer, Flawless Vapes & Supplies, LLC; the Bakersfield store where Garza bought the battery and device, Luxor Cafe & Vape Lounge; and the Bakersfield store where he bought his e-cigarette charger, Vape Fame.

“I never in my life thought that something like this would happen,” Garza, 23, said at a Glendale news conference Thursday.

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