The e-cigarette manufacturer Juul Labs is facing its first wrongful death lawsuit, filed by the mother of a teenage boy who died last year of breathing complications. The woman said in the lawsuit that her son was a healthy active teenager until he started vaping with Juul devices at age 15. She alleged that the boy was attracted to Juul’s candy-like flavors and illegal marketing claims that it was healthier than tobacco cigarettes. He died in his sleep at age 18.
Juul Facing First Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Federal health authorities are currently investigating more than 1,000 reports of respiratory problems including a number of deaths following the use of e-cigarettes and vaping devices. At least one vape-related death has been reported so far in North Carolina. Hardison & Cochran, Attorneys at Law is currently reviewing legal claims related to harm caused by e-cigarettes and vape devices in North Carolina.
What to do if Injured from E-Cig or Vaping
If you or a loved one has been harmed by a Juul pod or any type of e-cigarette, you may be eligible to seek money for medical bills and other losses related to the e-cigarette injury. If your loved one has died of respiratory issues related to vaping, you may have a right to file a wrongful death lawsuit, demanding damages for the loss of your loved one. E-cigarette manufacturers should be held legally accountable when their products cause preventable harm as a result of disregard for safety.
Injuries Caused by Juul Vaping
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration says that Juul products, which are produced by Juul Labs, based in San Francisco, represent a sizable share of the e-cigarette market.
The products, which are sold in candy-like flavors, are particularly popular among young people.
The FDA has many reports of Juul users developing addictions to nicotine. Juul devices contain a concentrated dose of nicotine. The amount of nicotine in a Juul cartridge is roughly comparable to smoking a pack of cigarettes, according to the National Center for Health Research.
The FDA has issued a warning regarding potential health risks posed by e-cigarettes.
Juul products and other brands of e-cigarettes pose risks including breathing problems, airway irritation, lung injury, nicotine addiction, nicotine poisoning and other issues, according to the FDA.
**Update 2020: The FDA banned flavored vape pods in the US.
Symptoms of potential vaping-related injuries include:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Fever, loss of weight
- Seizures and convulsions related to nicotine poisoning
Other FDA Warnings About Vaping
The FDA warns that consumers should not use any vaping products purchased off the street or from unknown sources. Consumers should not use vaping products that contain THC, a psychoactive component of marijuana.
In addition, the Food and Drug Administration issued a regulatory warning to Juul Labs in 2019about its marketing practices, saying that the e-cigarette manufacturer had illegally marketed its vaping devices as less harmful or presenting less risk than traditional tobacco cigarettes. The FDA said that Juul had ignored the law and company representatives had made misleading advertising statements to the nation’s youth that Juul products are much safer than cigarettes and falsely claimed the FDA was ready to announce that Juul products were 99 percent safer than cigarettes.
The agency has questioned why Juul used a nicotine concentration of 5% in its products, which could potentially make the products more addictive. That is more than twice the concentration of nicotine contained in other e-cigarettes.
E-cigarettes and vaping devices are relatively new products, having been put on the market in 2007. More research is needed to determine the full extent of the health issues posed by vaping and Juul devices.
What is Considered a Wrongful Death in North Carolina?
In North Carolina, wrongful death is any death that is preventable and is caused by another individual or corporation’s carelessness, willful misconduct or disregard for safety. Unfortunately, some companies put profits ahead of consumer safety.
A wrongful death lawsuit is a civil lawsuit that demands monetary compensation for the loss of a loved one.
A wrongful death lawsuit may be pursued by the immediate family of the deceased or on behalf of the deceased person’s estate. A wrongful death lawsuit is independent of any criminal prosecution or government investigation related to death.
Unsafe or defective products that cause fatal injuries are a common basis for wrongful death lawsuits in North Carolina. A number of personal injury lawsuits have been filed against e-cigarette manufacturers, and many more are expected.
While no amount of money will replace a lost loved one, a settlement or court award may help a family pay funeral bills and achieve financial stability after the unexpected loss of a loved one.
When to Call an E-Cigarette Attorney
If your loved one used e-cigarettes or Juuling devices and died of respiratory issues, you should contact an e-cigarette attorney to review the circumstances of the death and discuss your legal options.
Preparing a wrongful death lawsuit requires a detailed investigation to determine how the individual’s death occurred, identify who is liable for the death and gather evidence to support the wrongful death lawsuit.
If your loved one has succumbed to respiratory issues or died unexpectedly after vaping or Juuling, you should talk to a compassionate attorney. The selection of an experienced wrongful death attorney is one of the most critical steps that you can take after the loss of a loved one. The survivors of an individual who has died from harm caused by vaping devices has two years from the date of death to file a wrongful death lawsuit in North Carolina.
Hardison & Cochran is an established law firm. The attorneys at Hardison & Cochran represent families that have lost loved ones in wrongful deaths in Raleigh, Cary, Durham, Greensboro, Fayetteville, Wilmington and across North Carolina. Take advantage of a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your legal options.