Get Help from an Experienced E-cig Injuries Lawyer
Even if you do not personally know someone who has filed an e-cigarette lawsuit, you should be aware that the number of e-cigarette lawsuits has been growing rapidly in recent years. A product assumed by many to be safe, without evidence, has caused a multitude of injuries and even deaths. If you or a loved one has been injured, you probably learned quickly that there is little support for those who suffer from e-cigarette injuries. Because there are few laws regulating the use of e-cigarettes, it may be difficult to know where to turn for help. While there is a growing awareness of e-cigarette dangers, protections for consumers have been few and far between.
The wave of e-cig lawsuits is a response to the growing number of injuries and deaths caused by e-cigarettes. While lawsuits cannot prevent harms that have already occurred, they can compensate victims and their families for the injuries, pain, and suffering caused by the products. Although there are few other incentives to make their products safe, e-cigarette lawsuits can hold e-cigarette producers accountable for the harm they cause and give them a reason to be more careful before selling a product that has never been proven to be safe. If you’ve been injured by an e-cigarette, talk to our attorneys at Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law about an e-cig lawsuit for help. Call our team at (713) 973-8888 today or toll-free 1 (800) 444-5000.
What Is an E-Cigarette Lawyer?
Some attorneys have a general practice and know a little about several kinds of law. For example, some attorneys are general practitioners who assist their clients with criminal cases, divorce, and landlord-tenant disputes. A general practice lawyer may not get a lot of time to focus intensively on a special field. When general practice attorneys need help, they will often either work with a trusted colleague or refer you to someone who has experience in that field of practice.
An e-cigarette lawyer is a licensed attorney who is allowed to practice in the courts that hear the kinds of cases related to e-cigarette and vaping injuries. While they may also focus on some other kinds of cases, e-cigarette attorneys spend more time studying the issues behind e-smoking. An e-cig injury lawyer will need to be comfortable with civil practice but also with the rapidly changing vaping laws. E-cigarette lawyers also work with medical records. To prove a case related to e-cigarettes, your attorney will need to be able to show the cause and effect behind the chemicals in the e-cigarettes. An e-cigarette lawyer must also understand the issues well enough to break them down to a member of the jury who has no experience or education in those matters.
What Can an E-Cigarette Lawyer Do for You That You Are Unable to Do for Yourself?
With every civil suit, all plaintiffs are held to the same standard as attorneys. Your attorney can help you with the discovery paperwork, which can be intimidating, and with other technical legal issues. There are multiple deadlines in civil suits, and if you miss certain ones, you will lose the case entirely. Also, there are time limits on when you can file an e-cigarette lawsuit. Your e-cigarette lawyer can help you with that and with your different options as far as whether or not you should file a lawsuit.
Our experienced e-cig injuries lawyers at Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law understand the specialized legal issues associated with vaping and with e-cigarette ingredients. At this point in time, there are no real protections for individuals when it comes to vaping. Vape manufacturers and resellers have no incentive to make their products safe. This leaves the public open to products that have caused life-changing and even life-ending injuries. Your e-cigarette lawyer is the one who can fully represent your interests.
A vaping lawsuit may take a long time to settle or go to trial. Your e-cigarette lawyer will keep in touch with you throughout the process so that you are not anxious about what may seem like a lack of action in your case. As with many other kinds of civil lawsuits pertaining to product injuries, vaping lawsuits have long periods of waiting in between important deadlines. During the time that you are waiting, you should focus on what is important. If you are the one who was injured, you can focus on recovering as much as possible. If your loved one was injured or killed in a vaping incident, you can focus on your emotional recovery and supporting other family members in this difficult time.
Is Vaping Safe?
E-cigarette salespersons have always advertised vaping as being safer than regular smoking. They have worked to convince those who are addicted to nicotine that there is a safe way to not only practice their addiction but enjoy it. In advertisements for vaping, you can see claims about how much safer it is to use e-cigarettes instead of regular cigarettes. Even some health organizations tout the benefits of quitting smoking by taking up vaping instead. For example, the New Zealand Ministry of Health explains how to use vaping as a step toward quitting smoking. They explain that vaping is less expensive, safer, and even feels the same as traditional smoking. According to the New Zealand Ministry of Health, the main difference between smoking and vaping is the delivery system: smoking delivers nicotine by burning tobacco, meanwhile, vaping delivers nicotine by more safely heating a liquid. This only adds to the false illusion that vaping is a safe activity.
E-cigarette sellers originally made their product seem not just attractive but enjoyable. There was a seemingly endless variety of e-cigarette flavors, including banana nut bread, mango, mint, and other sweet/dessert-like flavors. In the U.S., the CDC took action to protect younger smokers by banning most of the special flavors. According to Johns Hopkins, those added flavorings to the vape juice were often dangerous. For instance, E acetate is one of the additives that are fine to eat but dangerous to inhale. Manufacturers added ingredients that seemed innocuous and were safe by themselves, but when combined with other ingredients, heated, and inhaled, could become a much more dangerous substance.
Those fun flavorings were just one of the ways that e-cigarette sellers tried to capture the teen and young adult audience. Even though nicotine is especially dangerous for younger individuals, the nicotine industry has a long history of finding ways to make smoking more attractive to younger people. The younger someone starts smoking, the longer that person might have to use your product. According to the CDC, the nicotine in e-cigarettes is highly addictive and is harmful to adolescent brain development. Nicotine actually changes the way a developing brain forms synapses. A CDC study found that 99% of e-cigarettes contained nicotine. Young people who are enticed into trying e-cigarettes may become addicted and are more likely to smoke cigarettes when they become adults. Not only that, but the use of nicotine in adolescence is also associated with addiction to other drugs in later life.
According to a U.S. Surgeon General’s report, e-cigarettes may contain these ingredients:
- Ultrafine particles that can be inhaled deep into the lungs
- Flavorings such as diacetyl, a chemical linked to a serious lung disease
- Volatile organic compounds
- Cancer-causing chemicals
- Heavy metals, such as nickel, tin, and lead.
It should not be surprising that, even when used correctly and nothing else happens, e-cigarettes can be deadly. However, there have been several kinds of accidents associated with e-cigarettes that were not expected.
Electronic Cigarette Fires and Explosions in the United States
Just between 2009 and 2016, there were at least 195 separate and unrelated incidents involving e-cigarette fires and explosions. In about 2 out of 3 of those incidents, the victims suffered acute injuries: 61 of those incidents occurred while the user was carrying the device in a pocket; 60 occurred during use; and 48 occurred while the battery was being charged. During the events, witnesses often reported a loud noise, white light, smoke, and/or fumes. Sometimes the battery or other components, after being ejected, “flew across the room” and ignited other items that were flammable. During such an incident in the United Kingdom, an e-cigarette caused a death when the device exploded and landed near oxygen equipment.
Serious injury (such as loss of a body part) resulted from 38 of these incidents, and 80 of the incidents caused moderate injuries, such as smoke inhalation, burns, or lacerations causing a need for stitches. During 10 of these incidents, the resulting fire spread to other parts of the room or building, causing serious damage. The incidents are increasing over time. In 2011, there was one incident where an e-cigarette caused a fire or explosion; in 2016, there were 98 incidents. Instead of learning from their mistakes and making the products safer, there has been a continuous movement in the wrong direction.
“Vaping Disease” or EVALI
Vaping causes so much damage that there is a name for the condition caused by the use of e-cigarettes. “EVALI” refers to e-cigarette or vaping use-associated lung injury. The CDC believes that Acetate E, an e-cigarette ingredient, may be behind a condition referred to as popcorn lung. The most common use for Acetate E is in skin creams and for other external uses, where it is completely safe. Younger men are the most affected by this newly discovered condition, with an age range of 13 to 75. Thousands of cases of EVALI have been reported, causing varying degrees of illness in the victims.
A recent analysis of lung injury deaths associated with e-cigarettes found that 34 deaths have been reported to the CDC so far. No one ingredient has been identified as the one that is causing the damage. However, the CDC reports that the one thing in common with all the deaths is that they are associated with vaping. Another commonality was that most of the products contained THC. Other diseases may make it more difficult to see the real impact of EVALI. For instance, the flu may cause medical providers to overlook vaping as a cause of patient symptoms. Some researchers believe that inhaling Acetate E may interfere with lung function, making individuals more vulnerable to the flu. It may be several years before we can see the real effects of vaping. Although we already understand that vaping is dangerous, it could be more dangerous than we even know.
Do I Need an E-Cig Injuries Lawyer?
The FDA issued a policy at the beginning of 2020 forbidding e-cigarette sellers to use any flavors other than menthol and tobacco. Some communities have already banned menthol cigarettes, and the movement to ban menthol is becoming more widespread. The new rules and laws regarding e-cigarettes and vaping are just proof of how dangerous the practice is. However, whatever efforts they may make now, e-cigarette sellers are responsible for all the damage they have already caused. Normally a product is tested and proven to be safe before being made available for the public to purchase. In the case of e-cigarettes, the product arrived on the market aimed at the most vulnerable part of the population without the proper safety studies.
E-cigarette manufacturers may try to say that they were not aware of the potential dangers of their products, but they are responsible for making sure their products are safe before offering them for sale. Instead of engaging in rigorous studies, e-cigarette providers instead marketed their product as one that was safer than smoking and that could help people break their addiction. Unfortunately, and especially because of the way e-cigarettes are marketed, e-cigarettes led to a nicotine addiction for many young people who may have never started smoking otherwise. Many of these young people have developed dangerous injuries because of the use of these products.
Find Out if You Have an E-cig Lawsuit. Talk to our Houston E-cig Injury Lawyer Today.
If you or a loved one has been injured because of e-cigarettes or in a vaping incident, you are not alone. We understand how difficult your situation is and want to help you with your recovery. If you have any questions, or if you think you may want to file an e-cigarette lawsuit, please call Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law at (713) 973-8888 or toll-free 1 (800) 444-5000 today.