Identifying Negligence in Death Caused by Vape Pen Explosion

Published on February 8th, 2019

vaping explosion negligence thurswell lawA Texas man’s e-cigarette exploded in his face last week, ending his life. William Brown died at a Fort Worth hospital from what his death certificate lists as a cerebral infarction and herniation caused by the debris from the exploding vape pen that dissected his left carotid artery. The tragedy has the 24-year-old victim’s family baffled about the medical decisions that were made in the aftermath of the explosion, but there could be other forms of negligence in play in this situation.

Was the Manufacturer of the E-Cigarette Negligent?

Equipment malfunctions happen all the time. It’s the tragedies, however, that you hear about. When someone is killed because the manufacturing of a car, device, or product was faulty. In Brown’s case, there could be an investigation into the reason for the pen’s explosion. User error? Possibly. Poor manufacturing? Also possible.

E-cigarettes and vape pens are battery-operated devices. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention describe them as using a heated liquid that usually contains nicotine and may be flavored to create an aerosol that the user can inhale like regular cigarette smoke.

The U.S. Fire Administration reports that, between 2009 and 2016, there were 195 e-cigarette fire and explosion incidents reported in the United States. In St. Petersburg, Florida, last May, a man was killed when his e-cigarette exploded and a piece of the device was shot into his head.

Was the Vape Shop Negligent?

Brown reportedly went into the Smoke and Vape DZ to ask for help in using his vape pen. According to the manager, Brown did not make a purchase and was told that the store didn’t sell that brand of vape pen. There was no comment as to whether a store employee offered any advice about the use of the pen.

Brown was in the smoking and vaping supply store’s parking lot when the explosion occurred. The store’s manager called an ambulance. Could an employee of the store be guilty of negligence or wrongful death? If they offered advice to Brown that he then used to operate the vape pen, maybe.

Did the Medical Team Commit Medical Malpractice?

In a medical emergency, doctors and nurses and emergency personnel must act as quickly as possible to help the person in distress. Claims of medical malpractice are always weighed against the circumstances of the situation. Brown was rushed to the hospital after the explosion and was put into a medically induced coma. X-rays showed that part of the e-cigarette had lodged in his throat.

Brown’s grandmother has been quoted as not understanding why the doctors didn’t operate on him right away. He later died of a massive stroke.

If you have lost a loved one due to another’s negligence, schedule a consultation with the Michigan personal injury lawyers at Thurswell Law to discuss whether you have a case. We do not charge any fees unless you collect. Call (248) 354-2222 today.

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