As of October 3rd, there were 19 deaths related to vaping illnesses. With such an industry-wide scare, questions of class-action lawsuits are beginning to arise. With the exact cause of the illnesses yet to be determined, it can be hard to figure out who’s at fault. The e-cigarette brand JUUL has already been at the center of lawsuits due to their highly-addictive flavored nicotine products, said to be targeted at minors. Unfortunately, the recent outbreak of illnesses is harder to pin down, making the target of any wrongful death cases difficult to find.
With the expansion of the e-cigarette market, the number of manufacturers of both e-cigarettes and vape liquid has exploded, with not all of them following the regulations laid out by the FDA, or even registering as manufacturers. This has opened up a dangerous black market of vapes and vape liquids containing products the purchaser might be entirely unaware of. Due to the sub-legal nature of many of these manufacturers, defective product and product liability cases could prove to be difficult, but not impossible.
Unlike JUUL cases, vaping illnesses appear to be related to multiple manufacturers. While there have been common ingredients between products used by patients prior to their hospitalization, mainly vitamin E oil, and various THC products, the exact cause is still under investigation. Until a specific manufacturer, whether of a liquid product, ingredient, or device is found, there is no one obvious to litigate against.
What Can Be Done
At an individual level, if you or a loved one are suffering or experienced a wrongful death due to vaping-related lung illness and have an idea of what product caused it, contact a personal injury or product liability, attorney. Don’t let manufacturers get away with cutting corners at the expense of you or a loved one’s life.