Vaping-Related Lung Disease Kills Woman in North Texas: Is This Just the Beginning?
In October, health authorities in Texas confirmed that the state’s first vaping-related lung disease death occurred. The woman who died due to the vaping products was one of close to 100 cases of severe lung disease that have been reported this year and the Texas Department of State Health Services suspects that there are approximately 30 more than a fit that same profile.
In fact, North Texas currently leads the state in the highest number of illnesses linked to vaping with close to 50. Patients are an average age of 22 years old and almost 25 percent of the cases involve minors. A majority are also linked to THC. Symptoms include coughing, shortness of breath, diarrhea, difficulty breathing, and sometimes nausea and vomiting as well.
Lawsuits Targeting Vaping
There have been so many vaping-related illnesses and deaths around the country that the issue has sparked discussions regarding products liability for those who manufacture and sell vaping products. Lawsuits—both individual and class action–have already been filed against manufacturing companies such as JUUL Labs Inc. and Altria Group Inc., and many more are expected to be brought by young consumers affected by an industry that clearly has not been careful enough in promoting and selling its products to consumers. Specifically, allegations in the lawsuit include the following claims thus far, although thousands more are expected in the coming months:
- Contracting Bronchiolitis obliterans (“popcorn lung”)
- Suffering from debilitating strokes and seizures
- Fraudulent marketing linked to promoting the use of these products as safer alternatives, especially to young consumers
- Defective design claims – inherently dangerous products
- Failure to warn about dangers
The Food and Drug Administration has formally released a statement announcing that JUUL broke federal regulations by very explicitly targeting young people; an announcement that will open doors for families to bring claims against these companies alleging that they purposely got them hooked. And it isn’t just the big companies who are arguably responsive: It’s also the vape shops; especially those who have sold these products to underage kids. People are, indeed, frustrated, claiming that they are addicted, they would not have purchased these products had they been fully informed of their effects, and a number now have permanent health problems as a result of using the products.
If You Have Experienced a Wrongful Death, Contact Our Texas Wrongful Death Attorneys
Nothing can truly make you whole again after you lose a loved one due to someone else’s – or a company’s – negligent or intentional act. However, speaking with an attorney can at least inform you of what your rights are in terms of seeking justice. If you have lost a loved one to vaping here in Texas, or have suffered due to personal injuries associated with these products, contact our Houston wrongful death attorneys at The West Law Office today to find out what your options are in moving forward.