E-cigarettes and vape pens have been linked to exploding batteries for the last couple of years, but it hasn’t appeared to make them less popular. In fact, it seems like every day you see a new person puffing away on an e-cig, convinced that it is somehow safer and healthier than traditional tobacco products.
The safety of these products is, again, in question. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed 380 cases of lung disease linked to vaping on September 11, 2019. The illnesses prompted investigations and calls for crackdowns on e-cigarettes. At the time, six people had died, and vaping-related lung illnesses seemed to be the cause. The CDC recommended that members of the public abstain from using vaping products. They also recommended that anyone with vaping illness symptoms see a physician.
On September 19, 2019, the Washington Post reported that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had been doing its own parallel, criminal investigation, and its numbers were different: “at least 530 people in 38 states have become sickened by a mysterious vaping-related lung illness, part of a growing national outbreak.” The confirmed deaths rose to seven. Every single person had vaped or used an e-cigarette, and most had vaped products containing THC.
The FDA is still seeking information from people who fell ill using e-cigarettes or vape pens. It is not pursuing prosecution against consumers who purchased illegal THC-based products; the officials simply want to collect as much data as possible.
Symptoms of lung illness due to vaping
If you have used an e-cigarette or vape pen and fallen ill, you are encouraged to contact the FDA and/or the CDC. Symptoms may develop in days or weeks, but these are the most common:
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Pain in the abdomen
Possible product liability claims
If you purchased an e-cigarette, vape pen, and/or liquid for use in vaping products, and developed an illness as a result, you may be able to file a claim for damages in a product liability claim. Products can be defective based on their design, their manufacturing, and their marketing. As many companies marketed their products as a safer alternative to smoking, despite any concrete evidence to support that message, we assume many marketing defect lawsuits will be coming in the following months and years.
Experienced product defect lawyers will work with safety experts to determine if the vaping products were defective when they were used/inhaled, and to show the products caused the lung illness or death, and not something else such as long-term tobacco use.
At Larson Law Firm P.C., we’ve been fighting for North Dakota injury victims for 40 years. In product liability cases, we work with government regulators and analysts and product experts to verify products are defective. For help with any injury or illness due to defective product use, call our attorneys in Minot and Bismarck at 701-484-4878 or use our contact form to schedule an appointment.