Tallmadge D’Elia, 38, was killed when his vape pen exploded and sent projectiles into his head. According to a report in the Washington Post, D’Elia’s death is believed to be the first caused by an e-cigarette explosion. He was found May 5 in the bedroom of his family’s home in St. Petersburg, which was set ablaze by the vaping pen explosion. The cause of death was listed as “projectile wound of the head.” The pen reportedly exploded into several pieces at least two of which pierced D’Elia’s head. He also suffered burns on about 80 percent of his body.
Our heartfelt condolences go out to the family members of Tallmadge D’Elia for their tragic loss. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
E-cigarette Fires and Explosions
The “mod”-type pen, distributed by Smok-E Mountain, is apparently made in the Philippines. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, there were at least 195 incidents in which an e-cigarette exploded and caught fire from 2009 through 2016, resulting in 133 injuries, 38 of which were described as severe.
So far, there have been no recorded deaths as a result of e-cig explosions or fires. The report also found that the explosions were typically accompanied by loud noise, a flash of light, smoke and projectiles shooting out. More than half of the reported incidents, about 128, included fires started on nearby objects.
Dangerous and Defective Products
E-cig fires and explosions have been blamed on lithium-ion batteries. They usually occur in products that are cheaply manufactured with substandard parts. E-cigarettes and their batteries are still not properly regulated. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends that e-cigarettes or their batteries not come in contact with coins, keys or other metal objects. However, we know now that many of these serious injuries have occurred when the e-cigarettes or vaping pens were used as intended.
If you have been injured by a defective e-cigarette or if you have lost a loved one in an e-cigarette explosion or fire, you may be able to seek compensation for your injuries and losses by filing a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer, distributor or other liable parties. Our product defect attorneys hope the FDA cracks down on these products and the companies that make them, and regulate this industry. It’s extremely unfortunate and unacceptable that so many people had to get injured and now killed to get some good regulations in place.