Omaha Vaping Injury Lawyer
Vaping and e-cigarettes were originally marketed as safe alternatives to cigarettes and other tobacco products, but recent medical research has shown that this dangerous practice can lead to serious health conditions, such as lung disease, addiction, and even death. In lawsuits against vaping product manufacturers, plaintiffs allege that these companies have recklessly marketed their products to minors and failed to warn consumers of the dangers.
If you or your child has been injured by vaping, you may have a valid product liability claim for compensation against JUUL or other major vaping companies. To learn more, contact an Omaha vaping injury attorney at Bottlinger Law L.L.C. to discuss your case. We offer each potential client a free case evaluation, so there is no cost to calling us at (402) 505-8234.
68 deaths had been reported among individuals with lung injuries associated with vaping product use as of February 18, 2020, according to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and that number only appears to be rising. In addition to these fatalities, over 2,000 cases of e-cigarette or vaping associated lung injuries (EVALI) have been reported in 49 states, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands, which is also steadily rising.
The types of EVALI that have been noted by the CDC include:
- Pneumonia: Vaping is associated with several types of bacterial pneumonia, which develop when the immune system is compromised. The chemicals in vaping products have a tendency to break down the protective barriers in the lungs and airways, allowing bacteria to grow there.
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD): Patients have also presented with COPD, which occurs when e-cigarette vapors destroy protective lung tissue and increase inflammation, making users more susceptible to COPD bacteria.
- Bronchiolitis obliterans: Otherwise known as “popcorn lung,” this condition occurs when a chemical known as diacetyl, which is found in flavored e-cigarette products, damages the air sacs of the lungs, making it harder for oxygenated blood to spread through the body. This can decrease a patient’s overall health and cause shortness of breath for the rest of their life.
- Heart damage: Impaired heart function and aging of the arteries and aorta have also been linked to vaping. It can become so severe that young adults who used vaping products and were otherwise healthy have suffered heart attacks.
What is so alarming about these injuries is that they overwhelmingly affect younger individuals who had not previously used tobacco products or have a history of lung disease. Thus, many physicians and researchers have linked vaping directly to the causes of the injuries and deaths of young adults.
While there are several vaping companies across the United States, the predominant e-cigarette company is Juul Labs, Inc, which has been cited multiple times for marketing vaping devices to young adults and teenagers as a safe alternative to cigarettes. In actuality, vaping may have long-term health risks above and beyond nicotine addiction. The FDA issued a warning letter to Juul Labs, stating the company had violated regulations by claiming its products are safer than cigarettes. Alongside this statement, the FDA has begun an in-depth investigation with the CDC into vaping-related injuries in order to identify potentially dangerous materials in e-cigarettes.
The House Oversight and Reform subcommittee has also conducted an investigation into the company’s marketing and advertising practices. In July 2019 hearings, the committee accused Juul of deploying a sophisticated program to target children and teenagers in summer camps and schools. The company falsely argued that its products were safer than nicotine and a healthy alternative to using tobacco products, a claim that has been debunked by multiple scientific organizations.
Violating these regulations has opened Juul up to multiple class-action lawsuits, personal injury claims, and wrongful death claims for damages caused by their products. However, there are limitations on who can successfully pursue a claim.
A key element in a vaping injury claim is the development of an EVALI or a link between the plaintiff’s injuries and vaping products. Individuals who have been smoking tobacco products for years and then switched to e-cigarettes would have an extremely difficult time proving that Juul’s products caused their injuries. In contrast, a younger victim with no history of addiction or lung injury prior to vaping may be eligible for a claim.
To pursue a claim for damages against Juul or another e-cigarette company, a plaintiff must:
- Be under the age of 26-years-old;
- Have only used vaping products;
- Never have consumed tobacco or marijuana;
- Have developed an EVALI that was medically proven to be connected to vaping; and
- Have suffered a lung injury within 45-minutes of vaping.
In addition, parents also have the right to file a claim. If your child is a minor and developed a vaping injury that meets the above criteria, you can file a claim on their behalf and, if the most tragic situation happened and your child died because of vaping, you may be to file a wrongful death claim. To determine what type of case you have, you will want to discuss your situation with an experienced attorney.
Studies have shown—and the CDC concurs—that vaping is linked to severe health problems. Juul Labs should be held accountable for targeting teens and promoting its products as a safe alternative to cigarettes without F.D.A. approval to do so and for failing to warn consumers of the dangers associated with using its vaping products.
If you or your child has suffered medical complications from using vaping products, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses and other losses. To determine whether or not you have a case, contact the legal team at Bottlinger Law L.L.C. Our lead Omaha product liability attorney has experience advocating for plaintiffs in Nebraska, Iowa, and Texas, and can thoroughly investigate your case. Call us at (402) 505-8234 to schedule a free consultation.
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