JUUL, Vape, and E-Cigarette Lawsuits
Call (512)-246-224 To Speak with an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer
As vaping and e-cigarettes have received substantial increases in consumer use and popularity in recent years, the dangers of vaping are beginning to appear. While marketed as a safer and lower nicotine alternative to traditional tobacco products, the dangers of these new products may not be any less severe.
Increased use of vaping products has led to a marked increase in reports of lung-related injuries, including serious scarring to the lung's sensitive sacks, termed “popcorn lung.” Further, the small but powerful lithium-ion batteries contained within the vape cartridge can reportedly overheat, and thus cause explosions and burns to consumers. What is more, recent studies have revealed a vast array of potential neurotoxins and carcinogens contained in the vapor which, when inhaled, may lead to serious health complications.
If you suspect that you or a loved one has experienced any type of injury related to vaping, call Zinda Law Group at (512)-246-2224 for a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer. In-depth legal investigations and factual analysis may help to uncover the causes of your injury.
Recently, there have been enough suspected vaping related injuries to warrant attention and analysis from some governmental organizations, although, as the popularity and mass use of these products has only occurred in the last few years, government regulation of the industry is notably absent.
The Center for Disease Control has recorded approximately 500 suspected lung injuries from vaping in just the first half of 2019 alone. This is astounding, as the marketing for vape products has largely focused on the alleged safety of the product. Further, the FDA has found over 100 instances of seizures erupting shortly after the use of a vaping product. The commentators, at this point, suspect the health troubles are likely being caused by an oversaturation of neurotoxins entering the bloodstream in a relatively short period of time.
Since these products have only seen widespread success in the past few years, vaping manufacturers have enjoyed a relatively low amount of lawsuits against them. As new information about the dangers of vaping is released, and as more injuries are being reported, this may be changing.
JUUL, a major manufacturer of vape products, has recently been sued in class action format for making defective products. The lawsuit alleged the company has not made proper warnings geared toward the consequences and side effects of the vapor nicotine, and thus unsuspecting consumers are receiving higher occurrences of sudden health complications. Further, the lawsuit alleges that JUUL has created physically defective products, potentially leading to explosions.
Illness, Injury, and Death from Vaping
Despite vape products' only recent spark in popularity, there is already a slew of illnesses seemingly being caused by the products.
These illnesses have largely been focused around the lungs, which makes sense as the product is being repeatedly directly inhaled into the lungs with each puff. If there are dangerous chemical constituents in the product and product liquid, as appears to be the case, one would expect side effects in the lungs.
As such, some of the most common reported lung illnesses resulting from vape usage are:
- Bronchiolitis Obliterans, also known as “Popcorn Lung”
- Difficulty Breathing
Popcorn Lung (Bronchiolitis Obliterans)
Vaping products work by heating liquid nicotine, and various other added chemicals, by a small cylindrical battery-operated heating element. This heat causes the liquid to vaporize, which the user then inhales. One of the main flavoring products that vape product manufacturers are using is called diacetyl. Diacetyl, it turns out, is a very dangerous aerosol that, when inhaled in vapor form, can cause permanent and irreversible scarring to the lungs.
The lungs have tiny and incredibly sensitive air sacs that are not fully equipped to filter and process diacetyl in large amounts and in short periods of time. The contact of diacetyl with the lungs, even in “vapor” form, is strongly suspected of causing scarring of the tiny air sacs in the lungs, potentially obliterating them over time. This permanent and irreversible lung damage has been a suspected consequence of vape usage. The consumer will likely find it hard to breathe as this scarring of the air sacs progresses. Some of the most common symptoms of Popcorn Lungs are:
- Difficulty breathing
- Painful breathing
- Chest pain
- Dry Cough
If you suspect that vaping has led to lung damage in you or a loved one, our experienced attorneys can conduct a free consultation with you to learn about the facts and specific circumstances surrounding your case.
Other Vaping Injuries
While vaping products do not use smoke and fire, as would be seen on more traditional tobacco products, they do contain small and powerful lithium-ion batteries, which by nature can be incredibly dangerous when defective.
Emergency room reports indicate that there have been several thousand vape related explosions requiring emergency medical attention in the last few years. Essentially, the small batteries in the vape products may overheat and explode, or overheat, causing such energy inside the product that the battery literally shoots out like a “tiny rocket”. This is incredibly troublesome, as users put the vape product up to their face, in their mouth, and because of the small size, in their pockets.
There have been reports of people receiving permanent bodily and facial scarring due to chemical burns and heat burns from the vape product exploding while in use, in their pocket, or even while charging. Some reports have even indicated that users experienced loss of limbs and third-degree burns from the explosions. Earlier in 2019, there has even been a reported death due to a vape product explosion. This is in stark contrast to the advertised safety of the product, and if you have experienced injuries from a vape product, the manufacturer may be liable to you in monetary damages.
In addition to direct lung damage and physical injuries from vape battery explosions, there is a strong concern for the potential long term toxicity effects of vape products. Many scientists, government agencies - such as the Center for Disease Control - and other interested parties have speculated that there may be both neurotoxins and cancer-causing carcinogens in the vaping liquid. Because the liquid is being vaporized and then directly inhaled by consumers, this raises paramount health concerns.
Many early reports have indicated that the ingredients in the vaping liquid may cause cancer over the long term, and may additionally cause DNA and cell damage. Recently, a study by the FDA found that a large number of samples from vape product liquid showed trace amounts of human carcinogens called nitrosamines. Also, some of the vaping products contained a carcinogen linked to potentially causing bladder cancer.
While vaping products are touted as having emitting less nicotine level per puff, many vape users are taking more puffs each day, resulting in overall high nicotine intake. Moreover, nicotine is known as a highly addictive substance, which may result in vaping serving as the starting point of addiction into other drugs. This is particularly troubling as the vape industry has not yet been regulated, and thus is not diminished in their capacity to market to younger children. Many middle-school-age children have reportedly tried or been exposed to vape products, which may get them addicted to nicotine at a young age. The manufacturers also have produced many flavors that seemingly appeal to younger age children, including bubble gum and many fruit flavors.
Why Hire an Attorney
As vaping is a relatively new trend, society may adapt and strive to keep product safety as a top priority. An experienced attorney may help conduct in-depth investigations regarding the facts and circumstances relating to your suspected vape injury or health concern. An in-depth legal investigation conducted by an experienced attorney may help reveal if a vape company may be liable to you in monetary compensation. In many industries, companies do not move towards safer products until they are faced with lawsuits and government regulation.
Our attorneys may be able to decipher whether a vape company may be responsible for your injuries or illness, and may be able to seek monetary compensation from them if investigation and consultation point to the manufacturer's liability.
How to File a Claim Against JUUL or Other Vape Companies
If you suspect a vape product or manufacture has caused you or a loved one an injury, you should contact an attorney to learn your legal rights. After speaking with an attorney, your attorney may conduct an in-depth legal investigation into what caused your injury, and if your attorney suspects the vape company is liable, may file a claim against them with a brief summary of what happened, your legal claims against the company, and the amount of your damages. Damages are the gravity of your injuries, which your attorney may convert into a monetary amount.
Vape Lawsuit Compensation
Much like in other personal injury lawsuits, you may seek monetary compensation from the at-fault party. This comes in the form of tangible and intangible damages. Tangible damages included medical costs lost wages - past, present, and future, as well as disability and, in the case of a death, loss of consortium and financial support. Intangible damages are commonly referred to as pain and suffering damages. These take the form of the physical pain of the medical treatments, as well as any emotional or psychological trauma resulting from the injury, including fear, stress, depression, anxiety and the like.
An experienced attorney may be able to best demonstrate the extent of your damages, tangible and intangible, before the court, and importantly, before a jury.
OUR EXPERIENCED ATTORNEYS MAY HELP!
If you suspect you have received a vape related injury, you are not alone. There have been increasing incidences of safety risks and injuries from the use of these products in recent years.
An in-depth legal investigation may be able to uncover the cause and liable party for your injuries. Whether your injuries have come in the form of illness or physical injuries, the attorneys at Zinda Law Group may be able to help!
Meetings with attorneys by appointment only.