Huntsville Defective E-Cigarette Lawyers
Fighting for Alabama clients who were injured or developed illnesses from e-cigs
You have likely seen coworkers walking around the office twiddling a pen-like device that they periodically puff on. Maybe you’ve seen friends doing something similar while socializing with them at home. These smoking devices are intended to replace traditional cigarettes, and you have probably heard that these devices are a much better alternative.
Recently, as more news stories have been surfacing about the dangers of these vaping devices, stern warnings have been issued about their continued use. Martin & Helms puts the safety of our clients first, which is why we are pursuing claims against the manufacturers of these dangerous devices. Our Huntsville product liability lawyers handle complex claims on behalf of clients throughout North Alabama. Contact us to learn more.
What are ENDS?
ENDS is the acronym for electronic nicotine delivery systems. You might know these systems better under their more commercialized names of electronic cigarettes, e-cigarettes, vaping devices, hookah pens, or vape pens. These battery powered devices have been gaining in popularity over the last several years as a more socially acceptable substitute for traditional cigarettes, pipes, and cigars.
In 2016, the FDA began regulating ENDS devices. As such, all devices must follow the follow rules:
- Health warnings must be placed on products
- Sales to individuals under the age of 18 is prohibited
- Free samples and vending machine sales are not allowed
- Manufacturers must receive marketing authorization from the FDA
- Vape shops that mix e-liquids must comply with legal requirements for tobacco manufacturers
E-cigarettes risk your health and safety
Let’s talk about the general safety of these electronic devices. They have been marketed as noncombustible, however there are many reported instances of injuries resulting from these products catching fire, or batteries exploding.
E-cigarette products have exploded, often while users are holding or smoking them. Some devices have become deadly projectiles, launching across rooms after overheating while being recharged. Property damage has been done to vehicles, homes, and businesses after these devices have failed. Users and bystanders, including children and pets, have been made to suffer injuries such as being burned, breaking bones, losing limbs, and even being killed when these devices have malfunctioned.
E-cig vapor is dangerous
The vapor of an E-cigarette is actually an aerosol of highly concentrated ultra-fine particles. This aerosol is a mixture of dangerous chemicals that are inhaled deep into your lungs. While the term “water vapor” is preferred by the industry to connote a harmless product, the aerosol contains a higher concentration of these particles than does secondhand smoke from cigarettes.
These electronic devices use a liquid that becomes heated, producing the inhaled vapor, which contains numerous harmful and potentially deadly chemicals including:
- Diacetyl (flavorant)
- Heavy metals, including nickel, tin, cadmium, and lead
- Carcinogenic Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s), including formaldehyde, toluene, benzene, acetaldehyde, and isoprene
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has identified Vitamin E acetate, "an additive found in illicit cannabis-containing vapes," as the most likely cause of fatal vaping illnesses. Vitamin E acetate is used to cut THC oil. However, the CDC warns that while most cases have been linked to this particular additive, other dangerous chemicals -- like the ones we list above -- could also cause or contribute to lung disease and illness.
Symptoms of E-cigarette vapor exposure and resulting illnesses
There are more symptoms emerging as time passes, but some common signs of vaping liquid exposure are:
- Dizziness, fever, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, and/or cough
- Exacerbation of asthma / respiratory tract irritation causing breathing difficulty
- Artery constriction, increasing likelihood of heart attack
- Central nervous system depression
- Pulmonary edema
- Seizures from nicotine overdose
- Gastrointestinal irritation
- Skin irritation
Users of E-cigarettes have experienced various health issues, including lung diseases such as popcorn lung, which is directly linked to Diacetyl - the chemical used to add flavorants to vaping fluid.
The mention of lung disease is becoming more synonymous with the word “vaping” every day. An investigation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has resulted in a recent health crisis coming to light. Hundreds of cases have been reported of the sudden onset of a deadly vaping-related pulmonary disease.
Kids and young adults are at greater risk
E-cigarettes are marketed to adults as a smoking cessation method; however, deceptive marketing tactics used by the vaping industry are targeting some of our most vulnerable members of society – children, teens, and young adults.
E-cigarette companies are using underhanded methods to attract younger customers, including use of social media and television ad campaigns, creating fun flavors, and sponsoring events such as concerts, which draw large crowds of young people. Electronic cigarette companies are also dangling college scholarships in front of high school age kids to write essays about vaping.
One specific company has been linked to youth vaping more than others. JUUL product have been marketed in such a way as to make users believe that they are a fun, safe alternative to smoking because they’re only inhaling flavored water. If you don’t pay close attention, the fact that a single vaping cartridge (200 puffs) contains more nicotine than a full pack of cigarettes, might slide right past you.
Filing a products liability claim for defective e-cigs
In a products liability claim, a consumer, injured by a defective product, looks to everyone from the manufacturer to the retailer to determine responsibility for his or her injuries. Whether you purchased the product yourself, borrowed it, or you were a bystander, you could have a claim if you have been injured.
Product defects fall under 3 categories:
- Design defects that are present before manufacturing that potentially renders a product dangerous
- Manufacturing defects that occur during the actual production process
- Marketing defects that involve anything from failure to warn of basic dangers to not providing instructions for usage
In Alabama, the statute of limitations expires 2 years from when you become injured. This leaves victims little time to file suit by the time they recover and understand that what they have been through is possibly the responsibility of someone along the stream of commerce.
How much is my defective e-cig claim worth?
There is no specific answer to how much your defective e-cig claim will be worth, because every claim is different. The amount of money you could be entitled to receive will likely depend on how seriously you are injured, and what responsibility the retailer or manufacturer bears in your injuries.
However, if you are successful in your claim, you could be entitled to the following damages:
- Current and future medical expenses
- Property loss from damage or destruction
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earning potential
- Pain and suffering for your ordeal
Punitive damages may be available if you have lost a loved one due to a products liability injury.
Our Huntsville products liability attorneys at Martin & Helms operate on a contingency basis, so that you don’t risk paying for legal fees and costs unless we recover compensation for you.
Contact our Huntsville defective e-cigarette attorneys today
Martin & Helms wants to help you seek the compensation you deserve for your E-cigarette injuries. Schedule a free consultation with one of our Huntsville product liability attorneys today to understand what you may be owed. We welcome you to call our offices in Huntsville or Decatur at 256-539-1990 or reach out to us through our contact page. We proudly serve clients in Athens, Madison, and throughout Tennessee Valley.