Teen Electrocuted Charging Phone While in Bathtub
Police in Lovington, New Mexico and the family of 14 year old Madison Cole have released information about the last text sent by the teen before her electrocution death in early July. According to her phone’s history, Cole’s final message was a picture she took from the bathtub of her phone charger plugged into an extension cord.
Cole’s life was tragically cut short by the cell phone incident.
According to a statement from the Lovington Police Department, the Office of the Medical Investigator preliminarily ruled the cause and manner of death to have been accidental electrocution.
The statement further explained,
“[Cole] had been using her Samsung S6 Edge cellular telephone while taking a bath. Evidence shows she had plugged this cellular telephone into a phone charger cord, which was plugged into an extension cord which was plugged into a non-GFCI, non-grounded bathroom wall outlet.
Specific evidence shows that the cellular telephone was never immersed in the water. While the child took precautions to keep the connection of the cords dry, it is believed she was not aware of a significant area of fraying to the extension cord. Forensic evidence indicated that she came in contact with this area of the frayed extension cord while she was still in the bathtub which contained water at the time, resulting in her electrocution.
Besides the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission assisting in this investigation, Underwriter’s Laboratories in Chicago, Illinois was also consulted. The investigation was reviewed by the New Mexico Fifth Judicial District Attorney’s Office.”
An additional investigation into Cole’s death was conducted by the Criminal Investigations Division of the Lovington Police Department and the US Consumer Product Safety Commission.
It’s important to note that, despite Cole having plugged her phone into an electrical outlet, the phone was not immersed in the bathwater. Investigators believe it was a frayed cord that led to the electrocution.
Product Safety Risks
Despite investigators pointing to the cord as the problem, this was not the first time a user of a cell phone was injured through no fault of their own. Though mobile devices are typically considered safe, many are malfunctioning and putting users at risk. Sadly, in Cole’s case, the risk was fatal.
If you or a loved one has been injured using a cellular telephone or any other piece of technological equipment, you might have a right to take legal action against the device’s manufacturer. We work with many clients who have put their trust in consumer products, only to be harmed, or worse. As a consumer, we have a right to expect certain levels of safety, especially when a product comes with no warning regarding potential injuries.
If you would like to know more about product liability laws or you need to speak to someone about an incident involving your own safety or the injuries or death of a loved one, we can help. Contact Heavens Law at 888.897.5377.