VAPING INJURIES


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Vaping illness cases have been ramping up in recent years, with thousands of lung injuries and deaths linked to vaping electronic cigarettes and THC products. Dozens of death reports note that the consumer purchased a legal vaping product that caused their deaths. Retailers and vape distributors do mix and alter their own vaping liquids, which is concerning for health officials. E-cigarettes function by turning nicotine or THC liquid into a vapor that appears less toxic, but the jury is still out. Vaping illness lawsuits claim the vaping devices may be more dangerous than the producers are telling the public.

As a result, the FDA and CDC are warning consumers about vague risks that may lead to severe respiratory illness and lung disease. Vaping and e-cig products are too new for there to be long-term studies regarding the health effects of inhaling certain chemicals regularly. Vaping devices are being advertised as helpful for existing smokers to help quit, though attorneys believe the vaping companies, some owned in part by Big Tobacco corporations, are attempting to simply replace traditional cigarettes with another dangerous product. Product liability lawyers and vaping addiction lawsuits state that vaping companies like Juul Labs have understated the health risks of vaping, and marketed vaping devices to young consumers.

Products like Juul Pods provide a heavy nicotine fix without inhaling smoke and tobacco. But while normal cigarettes have their obvious risks, the risks of vaping products may have unknown health risks. Mysterious lung diseases have been popping up across the country, and consumers are suffering the consequences.

The Lyon Firm investigates vaping addiction, vaping illness and respiratory illness cases for injured plaintiffs in Ohio and nationwide. 


Are Juul Pods Dangerous?


Juul Pods are the popular USB-shaped vaping device that has captured a large part of the e-cigarette market. It has a small, sleek design and a multitude of tasty flavorings that have attracted thousands of young consumers.

Juul Labs claims they market their products to existing smokers who are seeking a healthier alternative to cigarettes. But deceptive advertising lawyers claim the company has been targeting the youth in their marketing campaigns, and scores of teens have come down with a severe vaping addiction.

Juul and other e-cigarette devices may expose users to dangerous health risks, very similar to those associated with cigarettes. Researchers have found links to a higher likelihood of developing bronchiolitis obliterans (popcorn lung), as well as other respiratory illnesses.

Because consumers are unaware of what chemical additives are in many vaping products, and because vaping injury is on the rise, the FDA and CDC have suggested that users discontinue the use of vaping devices until more is known.

The Lyon Firm is dedicated to consumer safety and protecting the public from health risks associated with toxic products like e-cigarettes and other vaping products. Plaintiffs injured by liquid nicotine products or by exploding vaping devices can file suit against the responsible parties.


E-Cigarette Addiction & Deceptive Marketing


Not only are vaping devices like Juul potentially harmful to the health, but extremely addictive—perhaps even more addictive than cigarettes. Some samples of Juul pods tested very high nicotine levels. Seeing as how the company markets their products as suitable for smokers to help quit, this seems to be a disconnect with reality.

Young consumers, many in middle and high school, are attracted to the Juul products because of their concealable design and tasty, fruity flavoring. Many teens have never smoked anything but vaping devices, and end up with extreme addictions. Vaping addiction and vaping illness lawsuits have placed the onus on vape producers to properly test and warn consumers of the addiction and safety risks.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) have issued a warning to at least 13 companies that manufacture vaping and e-cig flavoring and liquids that closely resemble child-friendly food products. The e-cig and vaporizer packaging looks very much like children-oriented juice boxes, candies and cookies. Juul has recently been pressured into finally halting sales of flavored vapes.

The companies received warning letters and were cited for illegally selling their potentially dangerous products to minors. The FDA released a statement that read: “No child should be using any tobacco product, and no tobacco products should be marketed in a way that endangers kids—especially by using imagery that misleads them into thinking the products are things they’d eat or drink.

It is easy to see how a child could confuse these e-liquid products for something they believe they’ve consumed before—like a juice box. These are preventable accidents that have the potential to result in serious harm or even death.”

The FDA and the FTC have requested responses from the companies within two weeks. The companies must inform each agency of specific actions taken to address these health and safety concerns. The federal action follows a crackdown on the Juul brand to underage teens in 7-Eleven stores, Shell gas stations and other vape retailers. The e-cigarette brand is popular among young users, in part because of flavors such as fruit medley, cool mint and creme.


Vaping Burn Injury Lawsuits


According to the New England Journal of Medicine’s Journal Watch, “the fuel of e-cigarettes, liquid nicotine enables the satisfaction of cravings without smoke; however, nicotine is a neurotoxin. Even a highly-diluted teaspoonful of the stuff can kill a small child.

One toxicologist quoted in the article says that it’s only a matter of time before a child is seriously poisoned or killed. Calls to poison control centers for liquid nicotine are projected to rise dramatically this year.

Vaping is not only associated with serious lung disease but also burn injuries and e-cig explosion accidents. Hundreds of Americans are injured each year when vaping devices explode and cause burn injuries to the face, mouth and hands.

Each year in the United States, approximately 90,000 fires are caused from cigarettes and other smoking materials. These shocking statistics may not include many of the electronic cigarette (E-cig) and personal vaporizer accidents, which are regularly underreported.

Since E-cigarettes were first available for sale in the U.S. in 2007, the devices have grown in popularity, and the latest data from the U.S. Fire Administration estimates that millions of Americans are using e-cigs and vaporizers. At least one death has been reported due to serious vaping lung disease and damage.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission warns that as the number of consumers using vapes and E-cigs increases, the number of related vaping accidents is also likely to increase. However, the majority of package warnings on E-cig products fail to mention fire, burn and explosion hazards.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is also aware of the personal safety risks of E-cigs, but the agency is not currently regulating these new devices. With nearly 90 percent of e-cigarette and vaping products coming from overseas where manufacturing standards are more relaxed, it is hard to verify the safety of all smoking devices on the market.

Joe Lyon is a highly-rated Cincinnati personal injury attorney and Ohio E-cigarette injuries lawyer representing plaintiffs nationwide in a wide variety of consumer product liability and product defect cases.  


E-Cigarette Lung Disease & Vaping Accidents


Vaping related deaths and vaping illness cases are currently under investigation by the FDA and CDC. The health agencies are working closely with state and federal authorities, and urge the public to remain cautious with vaping products.

The FDA is analyzing CBD oil products,  THC vaping liquid and vape juice samples, testing for dangerous chemicals, additives, heavy metals and toxins. Many vaping products go unregulated and others are made on the black market, making the industry a tough one to manage.

Many e-cigarette manufacturers fail to properly test their products, and long-term studies of health effects do not exist. The vaping craze is relatively new in the last decade, and there is much to learn about the hazards of vaping. Inhaling chemical vapors may never seem totally safe, and attorneys say Juul and other companies should be responsible for making that known to consumers.

Third-party researchers are working to assess the vaping health risks, though with vaping accidents and vaping deaths on the rise, it may be already too late for some unfortunate consumers. The long-term effects of e-cig toxic exposure could lead to a severe public health crisis.

A study published by the American Journal of Physiology found that chemical additives found in e-cigarettes, like propylene glycol, may cause respiratory inflammation and other pulmonary issues. A number of other flavorings and chemicals used in vaping liquids contain aldehydes, which can irritate the tissue in the respiratory tract.


Vaping Accidents and vaping injury can also be the result of the following:

Overuse—Users of E-cigs misuse the product on occasion, and overuse can cause the device to overheat and explode. Personal vaporizes typically have built-in circuits to limit the time that the heating element can be active, which prevents overheating accidents. However, without more safety oversight there are no assurances that these safety functions are always available or reliable.

Wet Devices—E-cigarettes are electronic devices and may be damaged by water. E-cigs may malfunction and explode with water damage.

Unclean Devices—battery condensation should be cleaned before it is charged. This keeps the device from malfunctioning and also extends the life of the battery and the atomizer. Lithium-ion battery-powered devices have a risk of explosion, and the possible burn injuries can be quite severe.

Charging Accidents—only the charger sold with your e-cigarette is fully compatible. Many exploding e-cigarette incidents involve using the wrong charger. Charging can also heat the battery and the surrounding area. Users should take into account basic fire safety precautions. Charging for a longer period of time than necessary is ill-advised.


Lithium Batteries Incite Vaping Accidents


Lithium-ion batteries are one of the most common power sources for smaller consumer electronics like cell phone s and e-cigarettes, though many consumers are unaware that they may catch on fire, explode, and cause serious injuries.

Lithium-ion batteries are known to fail and incite fires and explosions. There are multiple reports of fires caused by failures of E-cigarette lithium-ion batteries. The e-cigarette injuries sustained are quite serious, most commonly to the mouth, hands and face.

In recent years, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has recalled hundreds of products for defective lithium-ion batteries installed, specifically for presenting explosion, fire and burn hazards.


Is Vaping Safe?


Juul and other vaping companies have said their products are a safer and healthier alternative to traditional cigarettes. According to some plaintiffs, JUUL has said vaping is “much safer than cigarettes” and it is “totally safe.”

But safety agencies are not so sure. The huge spate of lung disease and respiratory illness linked to vaping has medical experts wondering about all the vaping health hazards that are currently unknown.

Because vaping is a relatively new phenomenon, not a lot of long-tern research is available. The CDC has been advising people to quit vaping until it can figure out the cause of the vaping illnesses and deaths.


E-Cigarette & Vape Pen Explosions


Medical personnel at trauma and burn units across the United States are reporting an increase of E-cigarette injuries. The burn injuries are likely to affect the mouth, face, hands, and sometimes the eyes.

A recent accidental death was the result of a “projectile wound to the head,” and burns to about 80 percent of the victim’s body. The e-cig explosion started a fire in the bedroom where he was found. Problems with the battery are likely to have caused the malfunction.

Smok-E Mountain makes a type of vape pen called a “mechanical mod,” which was reportedly found to have directly caused the death. Compared with other types of vape pens, “mech mods” may give users more access to the battery to regulate the voltage.

E-cigarette and vaping companies are being criticized for not having more built-in safety features. The majority of vaping devices have about the same fire risk as other products that use lithium-ion batteries, like smartphones.”

Electronic cigarettes that use lithium-ion batteries are called a “new and unique hazard,” and may be prone to explosion. Researchers from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine found “conclusive evidence” that e-cigarettes may potentially explode and cause serious injury.

A 2017 report from the U.S. Fire Administration also documented a vape pen explosion risk. Researchers are still assessing certain health risks with vape devices, but  e-cig fire risks are now proven to exist.

Each year, the U.S. National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) report on E-cigarette fire incidents. Amazingly, E-cigarettes are currently unregulated by federal safety agencies, so a total number of injuries caused may be greatly underestimated.

Reports of battery malfunction and vape pen explosions describe defective E-cigarettes and vaporizers acting like flame throwers.


Ohio Vaping Illness Lawsuits


Specific substances within vaping and e-cigarette products may cause illness, but more information is needed. If you use Juul Pods or other vaping devices, and have developed a lung condition or vaping illness and addiction, contact The Lyon Firm to investigate the root cause of injury. Potential vaping injury lawsuits can be filed on behalf of plaintiffs.

When a consumer chooses to use e-cigarettes, either Juul or any other brand, they may be at risk of developing a serious vaping illness or respiratory injury. Vaping addiction, or physical injury can result in vaping accidents lawsuits filed in Ohio and across the country.

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Many product liability cases have had a positive impact on public health and safety, and we have witnessed improved lives and future injuries prevented as companies are forced to remove products and change designs and warnings as a result of litigation.

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Questions about Product Liability & Case Types

What is a Product Liability Lawsuit?

Product liability lawsuits often contain causes of action for strict liability, negligence, and breach of warranty. Strict liability applies to different factors than negligence-based claims.

In negligence cases, the actions of the defendant are the focus. In strict liability claims, the focus is on the condition of a product at the time it left the manufacturer. If a product is determined to be defective, the company is liable for any foreseeable injuries that are in-part caused by the defective condition of the product.

What are some examples of Product Liability?
How is a Product Defined as Defective?
Ohio Definition of Defective

A product is defective if it is unreasonably dangerous for its intended use. A legal cause of action can be based on several types of product defects. The following are Cincinnati product liability and strict liability claims available in Ohio and in most jurisdictions nationwide:

(1)  Manufacturing/ Construction Defect:

These issues arise where the product is released from the factory in a manner that deviates from the intended design or specifications. The defect can be a result of using the wrong materials, including the wrong or completely foreign materials (e.g., Tylenol contamination, food poisoning, damaged car part from factory installation).

As a result of the deviation, the product enters the market in an unreasonably dangerous condition and the consumer is exposed to or purchases a product that is defective. Any personal injuries or economic loss that arise from the the defect are compensable under Ohio product liability law.

(2) Defective design and/or formulation:

Defective design product liability cases arise not because a mistake was made during the manufacturing process, but rather the original design of the product is unreasonably dangerous. A “risk benefit analysis” is used to determine whether safer/less expensive alternative designs were available to the manufacturer.

Federal regulations set minimum standards for the design of many consumer products, and preemption defenses may preclude liability in some situations if the manufacturer follows and obtains federal approval for a product. Automotive recalls and product liability cases are usually a result of a defective design. Common cases include the Toyota Brake Recall, Chrysler Gen III seat belt buckle, lap belt only cases, Metal on Metal hip implants, transvaginal mesh.)

(3) Failure to warn or inadequate warning or instruction associated with the product:

All consumer products come with necessary and appropriate warnings and instructions for use. If the lack of a warning makes the product and use of the product unsafe, the manufacturer is liable for the failure to place the warning. The most common area of litigation for failure to warn is in pharmaceutical litigation.

Pharmaceutical manufacturers are required to warn of the known or foreseeable side effects and update the warnings in a timely manner. Litigation arises where there is evidence the manufacturer failed to timely update a warning in light of new data or simply ignored the risk and failed to conduct sufficient research to identify and then disclose the risk.

(4) Misrepresentation:

The product fails to conform to a representation or warranty. Warranty claims are more common in commercial and economic loss cases than in personal injury cases. In many States, The Product Liability Act does not apply to cases with only economic loss, because the Commercial Code provides recourse for breach of warranty.

The warranty may be written or implied based upon the products intended purpose and merchantability. An example of a breach of warranty cases are cases involving automotive defects.

How do you prove design defects?

Risks:  The following factors are considered under Ohio law when determining the risks associated with the design of a product:  (1) the magnitude of the risk of injury; (2) ordinary consumer awareness of the risk for injury; (3) the likelihood of causing injury; (4) the violation of a private or public standard; and (5) the consumer’s expectation of the performance of the product and level of danger. Ohio Revised Code 2307.5 (B) Product Defective in Design or Formulation.

BenefitsThe following factors are considered under Ohio law when determining the benefits associated with product design: (1) the utility of the product; (2) availability of an alternative design; (3) the magnitude of risks associated with an alternative design. Ohio Revised Code 2307.5 (c)

Defenses for Defective Design(1) a pharmaceutical drug or medical device is not defective by design if it contains an adequate warning of an unavoidably unsafe aspect of the pharmaceutical or medical device; (2) the dangerous aspect is inherent to the product, recognizable, and cannot be eliminated without compromising the product’s usefulness; (3) a lack of a feasible alternative design. 2307.75 (d)(e)(f).

EXAMPLES:

What is a manufacturing defect?
  • A manufacturing defect is based on a defect that occurred during the manufacturing process. Many auto companies have been involved in this kind of product liability lawsuits in recent years, due to defective airbags, software defects, tire failure, and other dangerous manufacturing errors.

    Most manufacturing defect cases are based on a products deviation from the intended specification, formula, performance standards, or design model. In such cases, it may be easy to determine the product did not comply with the intended design.

    The product may be recalled as a specific lot is identified as being non-compliant and defective. A product may be defective in manufacture or construction, materials and assembly, and a manufacturer or distributor may be subject to strict liability, even though it exercised all possible care.  Ohio Revised Code 2307.74.


    Manufacturing Defect Examples:

What is a failure to warn lawsuit?

In determining whether a product is defective due to inadequate warning or instruction, evidence must be presented to prove:

  • The manufacturer knew, or in the exercise of reasonable care, should have known about a risk
  • A reasonable manufacturer would have provided a warning of the risk
  • The manufacturer failed to provide the warning
  • The person was injured due to a lack of warning. The same elements apply whether the claim is based on a warning present during the marketing or post-sale warnings.

Defenses to Failure to Warn Claims(1) the risk was open and obvious or a matter of common knowledge; and (2) in cases of a pharmaceutical drug or medical device, the warning was provided to the prescribing physician (“Learned Intermediary Doctrine”).

Many pharmaceutical companies have been targeted in failure to warn lawsuits for either failing to place warnings on medication guides and packaging or failing to properly test their product before putting it to market.


 

What are consumer product safety regulations?

Design and manufacturing defects result in thousands of product recalls each year in the United States, initiated by federal safety agencies. Following injury and illness, regardless of recall status, victims and plaintiffs may pursue legal action and contact a product liability lawyer to begin the litigation process. Rightful compensation can be sought and help plaintiffs recover medical costs and other related damages.

Product liability law overlaps with regulatory law, which are the systems of legislative rules and administrative agencies, and part of federal and state governments. These agencies regulate the safety of the products sold to the public. Examples include:

  • The Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
  • The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA;)
  • The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)

The listed government agencies, however, may initiate recalls of dangerous products but do not provide remedies or compensation for damages where an individual is injured due to the defective product.

Why should I hire The Lyon Firm?

Our Firm will help you find the answers.  The Firm has the experience, resources and dedication to take on difficult and emotional cases and help our clients obtain the justice for the wrong they have suffered. 

 Experience:  Joe Lyon is an experienced Cincinnati Product Liability Lawyer. The Lyon Firm has 17 years of experience and success representing individuals and plaintiffs in all fifty states, and in a variety of complex civil litigation matters.   Product Liability lawsuits can be complex and require industry experts to determine the root cause of an accident or injury.  Mr. Lyon has worked with experts nationwide to assist individuals understand why an injury occurred and what can be done to improve their lives in the future. Some cases may go to a jury trial, though many others can be settled out of court.

Resources/Dedication: Mr. Lyon has worked with experts in the fields of accident reconstruction, biomechanics, epidemiology, metallurgy, pharmacology, toxicology, human factors, workplace safety, life care planning, economics, and virtually every medical discipline in successfully representing Plaintiffs across numerous areas of law. The Lyon Firm is dedicated to building the strongest cases possible for clients and their critical interests.

Results:  Mr. Lyon has obtained numerous seven and six figure results in personal injury,  automotive product liability, medical negligence, construction accidents, and auto dealership negligence casesThe cases have involved successfully litigating against some of  the largest companies in the world 

Your Right to Safety

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Defective products on the market present safety and health hazards for adults and children. Cheap and defective products may pose fire and burn risks; electrocution, strangulation and choking risks; and severe health risks. The manufacturers of consumer products have a duty to foresee potential injury and properly design and test products before they are released.

Companies must also properly warn consumers of any risks associated with their products. Any failure to protect consumers that results in accidents and injury can lead to lawsuits filed by plaintiffs and their Cincinnati product liability lawyer

Our Victories

The Lyon Firm aggressively, professionally, and passionately advocates for injured individuals and families against companies due to a defective product or recalled product to obtain just compensation under the law. 

DEFECTIVE LAP BELT RESTRAINT

SPINAL CORD INJURY

(Pikeville, Kentucky): Confidential settlement for Plaintiff who suffered spinal cord injury resulting in paraplegia due to defectively designed seat belt. Four passengers with three-point (lap/shoulder) belts walked away from the accident, and the only passenger wearing a two-point belt (lap only) suffered a debilitating spinal cord injury. The settlement assisted with home improvements to assist in daily living. GM entered federal bankruptcy during the process and no longer manufactures two-point lap belts for vehicles.

DEFECTIVE PROPANE WALL HEATER

WRONGFUL DEATH 

(Hillsboro, Ohio): Confidential Settlement for the family of elderly man who was catastrophically burned while operating a propane wall heater. The burns resulted in his unfortunate death. The heater, manufactured and sourced from China, was alleged to allow the flame to reach outside the grid area in violation of ANSI standards. The Defendant resolved the case following discovery and mediation. The recovered funds were paid to the victim’s surviving spouse and children. The company no longer manufactures this type of heater.

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