The outbreak of vaping related illness has reached the entire country with cases reported in all states. Over 1,600 people have suffered lung injuries from this illness. There have been 34 fatalities reported from this mystery illness. The CDC is beginning to make progress in figuring out the cause of this severe lung ailment. In the meantime, the manufacturers of vaping products are facing serious legal consequences from the many illnesses that have resulted from vaping. In addition to regulatory consequences from the government and possible criminal investigations, there have been numerous lawsuits filed against these companies with a predicted tidal wave of litigation soon to follow.
Lung Disease from Vaping
Starting in March 2019, cases of this mysterious lung disease began to surface. In the beginning, doctors were not able to figure out that the sickness was tied to vaping. However, after discoveries made in the early cases, physicians were soon able to pinpoint vaping as the cause of this serious illness. Otherwise healthy young adults were going to the hospital with severe lung injuries that are likely going to impact them for a lifetime.
In some cases, this lung illness has been fatal. Other patients have been placed in a medically induced coma until they were able to sufficiently recover. The symptoms have been found primarily in younger adults.
Recently, the CDC and FDA have begun to narrow down the possible culprit for this outbreak. The regulators have found vitamin E acetate in the fluid samples taken from the lungs of those stricken with the illness. This possibly results from the presence of THC in the vaping fluid. In the meantime, many have been giving up vaping in the wake of all of the negative publicity surrounding the habit. Because of this, the number of new cases of the vaping-related illness has declined in recent weeks.
Lawsuits Against Vaping Companies
Numerous cases against vaping manufacturers have been filed in recent months. The companies were already facing class-action lawsuits because of their aggressive marketing practices that targeted youths. Now, individuals who have been harmed by vaping are filing lawsuits against the companies.
Juul, the market leader in vaping pod sales, is facing the most lawsuits. The company’s marketing practices were pervasive. While this established Juul as the top-selling vaping product, it now also sets Juul up for crippling litigation. The company, which has been backed by tobacco industry giants, is now facing a multitude of legal actions. What remains to be learned is whether the lung illnesses were caused by Juul’s products or counterfeit or altered pods that made their way onto the market.
Practically any company that has been a part of making anything relating to vaping is now a possible defendant in this onslaught of litigation. One plaintiff has filed a lawsuit against a company making CBD vape oil. She purchased the product in the U.S. Virgin Islands. After only three days of using the product, she developed a case of severe pneumonia that required her to be airlifted to Miami. Her illness worsened to the point where she experienced respiratory failures. Doctors were forced to amputate both of her legs. She has filed a lawsuit against Just CBD, the maker of the product. Just CBD claims that its products are pure and that it has received several reports of counterfeits of its product being sold in the market.
Another case has been filed against Juul by a 28-year old man who developed a severe case of pneumonia after using one of Juul’s mango pods. The company has since promised to stop selling the flavored products since they are the most popular among underaged vapers. After using these products for seven months, he became severely addicted to these products.
Juul had marketed its product as a safer alternative to tobacco smoking and encouraged smokers to switch to vaping. This claim was without merit or scientific basis and the FDA has since ordered Juul to stop making this claim. Nonetheless, the man switched to Juul out of a mistaken belief that the product was safe.
However, the man’s addiction became so severe that he was using an entire pack of pods each week, often waking up in the middle of the night to vape. Each pod has the nicotine equivalent of one full pack of cigarettes. He developed a severe case of pneumonia that led to respiratory failure.
The civil cases against Juul for individualized harm have recently begun to be filed. It is logical to assume that this is only the beginning of the cases given that there have been thousands sickened and many of the side effects of vaping are yet to be known. There are millions of vapers in this country including many teens who have already begun to show signs that vaping is harming them.
The deluge of lawsuits may put some of the smaller vaping companies out of business as they will lack the assets to pay if they are found liable for vapers’ harms. Those who have been sickened should file lawsuits quickly before these companies may be able to avoid liability by filing bankruptcy. Juul has somewhat deeper pockets since it is backed by Altria, the maker of Marlboro cigarettes. Juul has made outsized profits in its early years of operation as it is the most profitable company in the business.
In the meantime, there are approximately 14 million vapers in the country, Aside from the short-term acute lung illness, the long-term impact of this product is still unknown. Vaping has not been formally approved by the FDA, and the manufacturers are currently going through the application process.
Contact A Vape Injury Lawyer
If you or a loved one have suffered any injury from vaping, it is critical to contact a vaping injury lawyer immediately. This area of the law is relatively new and you will need experienced legal counsel to help guide you through the process of possibly filing a lawsuit against the vaping manufacturer. The attorneys at The Law Offices of Sadaka Associates handle such cases and can provide a complimentary evaluation of your case.