Cape Coral man hospitalized after e-cigarette explosion

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CAPE CORAL, Fla.- A man has been released from a Bradenton burn unit after an electronic cigarette exploded in his pocket.

Randall Cales is still recovering after he suffered seconded and third degree burns to his upper right thigh. Since the device malfunction happened Oct. 20, Cales has undergone two surgeries and a skin graf.

Scot Goldberg, Cales’ attorney, describes what his client told him about the incident.

“The first 15 seconds or so he thought he had been shot because that’s what it sounded like and that’s the kind of pain he was having,” said Goldberg.

The device, blew a hole in Cales’ pocket, burning his leg and his hand when he tried to remove it.

Despite of his injuries, Goldberg says Cales is thankful that the explosion didn’t happen when he was using the device. On Monday, Evan Spahlinger from Naples landed in the hospital after his device exploded in his face. Days after the explosion, Spahlinger remains in a Miami hospital but has been upgraded to “fair condition” and is said to be awake and conscious.

In both the Cape Coral and Naples cases, a dripping vapor device was used. Goldberg says those are the more dangerous than other models.

“I would not or let anyone that I know use a drip device just because of all the problems that I’ve seen,” said Goldberg. “These devices are the ones that we’re hearing about in the news because they’re not fully enclosed and they’re much more powerful as far as inhaling the smoke that comes out. But when you get that much smoke, you’re giving away a little bit of the safety.”

Cales attorney has begun his own investigation to find out who should be held responsible, whether it’s the manufacturer, the store where his client bought the device, or both.

“We do know that it was a refurbished one and that it broke and had to be refurbished a second time and clearly there was a problem with it or it wouldn’t blow up,” said Goldberg.

Goldberg says they are considering all their legal options. WINK News has learned Spahlinger has also hired an attorney.


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