Vaping Lawsuit Basics
  1. Home
  2.  - 
  3. Firm News
  4.  - Vaping Lawsuit Basics

Vaping Lawsuit Basics

| Feb 15, 2021 | Firm News

Legal actions against vaping companies for injuries associated with the use of electronic cigarettes and vapes looks different than your typical lawsuit. What you sue for, who you sue, and how you file your lawsuit are all features that can make your vaping lawsuit look different than your typical personal injury lawsuit.

What can I sue for?

 Like any lawsuit, you have to allege an injury of some sort in order to file a claim. Vaping is associated with severe, adverse health effects. If you are curious about the common injuries associated with vaping, please refer to our prior Blog Post: Common Illnesses Associated with Vaping. Common claims against vaping companies can assert that:

  1. Vaping companies marketed its products to minors and children.
  2. Vaping companies promoted nicotine use and dependence.
  3. Vaping companies failed to warn users that their products have higher nicotine concentrations. and are more addictive than tobacco cigarettes.
  4. Vaping products are defective.
  5. Vaping products are unreasonably dangerous.[1]

Typically, lawsuits attempt to recover damages for past a future medical expenses that result from injuries from using e-cigarette and vaping products, past and future pain and suffering caused by the injuries and recovery process, pass and future loss of enjoyment of life, and punitive damages.

Who can I sue?

If you were injured from using vaping products, your claim isn’t limited to the vaping company alone. There are multiple parties that can be held responsible for your injuries resulting from vaping products including, but not limited to:

  1. Co-founders and CEOs of vaping companies
  2. Board Members for vaping companies
  3. E-liquid companies
  4. Distribution companies which includes, but is not limited to:
    1. Gas stations
    2. Grocery stores
    3. Businesses
  5. Vaping companies
  6. Parent companies that oversee vaping sub-divisions

Who you can sue depends on multiple factors including your type of injury, the severity of your injury, what kind of product you used, when you started using the product, your age, where you purchased the product, and whether or not you purchased products off of the black market.

Many young adults report buying vaping products containing THC off of the black market and through third party sellers.[2] Other e-cigarette and vape owners were reported purchasing unauthorized vape-compatible products, like refillable pods.[3]  Using these products can intensify the negative side effects of vaping and can potentially invalidate a claim for injuries.

What does a vaping lawsuit look like?

There are only three ways to initiate litigation against vaping companies, including JUUL. An attorney can initiate Multidistrict Litigation, a Class Action lawsuit, and a Wrongful Death lawsuit.[4]

Multidistrict litigation (MDL) is a legal proceeding in federal court where multiple lawsuits that involve common questions of fact are temporarily consolidated and transferred to a single district court for pretrial proceedings.[5] MDL suits are still single cases but are transferred to a different district that handles of the cases under the MDL.[6] A party must file a motion to transfer the case to the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (a panel of district court judges).[7] A single judge oversees the pretrial proceedings. MDL is the only opinion for a single plaintiff that is still alive with injuries.[8]

A class action lawsuit is different than an MDL in a few ways. First, class action lawsuits involve one or more plaintiffs that file a lawsuit on behalf of a larger group, or class.[9] So, the individual plaintiff effectively shares the case with other plaintiffs.  Second, the plaintiffs in a class action usually have to experience the same or similar harms from the same defendant(s).[10]

 A Wrongful Death Action is a civil lawsuit against a person, company or party that may be liable for the death of an individual.[11] A wrongful death action, unlike a class action, is an individual action against another party or parties. Unlike an MDL, wrongful death actions are only for damages arising out of someone’s death. The decedent’s survivors thus have to bring the action.[12]

If you were injured or hospitalized from using e-cigarette or vaping products, or someone you know died from complications of using vaping products, vaping companies may be liable for those injuries. If you believe you might have a vaping claim, please contact Michael P. Bonner, Esq. at [email protected] or call us at 305-676-8800 for a free consultation.  Attorney Michael P. Bonner has over 30 years of experience in personal injury litigation. 

 

[1] This is not an exhaustive list of potential claims. If you

[2] https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/potential-culprits-in-mystery-lung-illnesses-black-market-vaping-products/2019/09/24/cb5b708e-d98d-11e9-ac63-3016711543fe_story.html

[3] https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-07-13/juul-launches-legal-fight-against-black-market-vaping-cartridges

[4] https://blog.counselfinancial.com/finance-corner/mass-tort-of-the-month-juul

[5] https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/multidistrict_litigation

[6] Id.

[7] Id.

[8] Id.

[9] https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/class_action

[10] Id.

[11] https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/wrongful_death_action

[12] Id.