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Can You File a Claim Against an E-Cigarette Company? – Part II

January 22 2020 | Blog, Uncategorized
  • In this two-part article, we explain how the use of vaping devices has become so widespread, the evidence of the risks they pose, and in which situations you can file a personal injury claim against an e-cigarette company.

    In the last decade, vaping devices have taken the US market by storm. Now, hundreds of people—many of them teenagers—are experiencing negative health effects for which the e-cigarette manufacturers haven’t provided warning.

    Last week, in the first installment of this two-part article, we discussed the nationwide outbreak of dangerous lung injuries and illnesses and how evidence suggests that this has been caused by e-cigarettes. We also explained how vaping has become so popular, especially among teenagers and young people.

    In the second part of this article, we explore some of the most common health dangers related to vaping as well as analyze legal options available to those who may have been injured due to e-cigarette use.

    Common Health Dangers Related to Vaping

    It is not yet fully understood to what exact extent vaping can be harmful. However, the regular use of e-cigarettes has already demonstrated dangerous, long-term, and often irreversible side effects. Most of these can be divided into three groups: lung-related injuries, seizures, and severe nicotine addiction.

    Lung-related injuries

    Lung injuries are the most common side effect of vaping. As mentioned above, a national outbreak of vaping-related lung illnesses and deaths has prompted the CDC to launch a special investigation into the toxicity of e-cigarettes.

    However, even before this outbreak, e-cigarettes were shown to have the potential to cause other harmful lung conditions, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or bronchiolitis obliterans organizing pneumonia (BOOP).

    Seizures

    In August, the FDA announced it was investigating as many as 127 reports of vaping-induced seizures. While the agency noted that the relationship between the use of e-cigarettes and the risk of neurological symptoms was still to be determined, seizures are a well-known side-effect of nicotine poisoning, especially if the substance is ingested rapidly and in large doses.

    E-cigarettes are indeed able to deliver large amounts of nicotine to the user’s system in a short amount of time. For example, just one of JUUL’s vaping pod or cartridge is believed to contain as much nicotine as one pack of cigarettes.

    Addiction

    E-cigarettes have high-nicotine content, which also draws strong criticism from the industry’s critics. These point out that while vaping devices are marketed as an aid for individuals who want to quit smoking, they actually cause many people to develop nicotine addiction.

    For example, in December 2018, the US Surgeon General Jerome Adams declared vaping an epidemic among youth who often “don’t realize that electronic cigarettes contain nicotine, which is a highly addictive drug.”

    E-Cigarettes and Product Liability

    Manufacturers of vaping devices have already been targeted by a number of both individual and class-action lawsuits where plaintiffs alleged they suffered serious injuries and other negative consequences as a result of regular e-cigarette use. Juul, one of the biggest producers of vaping devices and accessories, has also been sued by school districts across the US.

    Such lawsuits are made possible due to a legal doctrine known as product liability. Product liability means that a manufacturer, distributor, or seller of a dangerous product may be held financially liable for injuries caused by a product that may be deemed defective.

    Liability may arise in connection to three main kinds of defects:

    • Design defects: When an inherent feature of a product’s design made the use of the product fundamentally unsafe
    • Manufacturing defects: When dangerous defects are acquired in the process of a product’s manufacturing or assembly
    • Marketing defects: When dangerous defects stem neither from a product’s design, nor from the way it was manufactured, but rather from the way it was marketed; marketing defects may include insufficient instructions or inadequate warning

    After reviewing the available evidence of both the dangers related to vaping as well as the marketing practices of the manufacturers of vaping devices, many have reached the conclusion that e-cigarette companies should be liable for vaping-related injuries.

    If you have experienced negative health effects that can reasonably be attributed to e-cigarette use, you may benefit from contacting experienced product liability lawyers to consult them about your legal rights and compensation options.

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