A JUUL lawsuit may be an option for people who have experienced serious complications associated with the vaping devices, including rare but serious cases of lung disease. JUUL is a battery-powered e-cigarette product that uses an ingredient containing nicotine.
In addition to lung injuries, JUUL vaping devices have been linked to other serious side effects and health risks affecting teens and young adults. Those affected and their families may be able to pursue a claim and recover compensation with the help of a product liability attorney.
If you or a loved one has been adversely affected by a JUUL e-cigarette or other vaping product, contact Attorney Group to learn about your options.
We offer free, no obligation consultations. We can help answer your questions, and if you choose to pursue a claim we can connect you with an affiliated attorney who can assist you throughout the legal process.
Have You Seen a JUUL Lawsuit Commercial?
You may have seen information on television about an outbreak of lung injuries linked to the use of e-cigarettes and other vaping devices. You may have also wondered whether you or a loved one has been affected by the popular vaping device and similar products and, if so, whether you are eligible to pursue a claim against the product manufacturer or distributor.
The purpose of this article is to provide you with additional information about lawsuits and other litigation involving e-cigarettes and other vaping products so that you have a better understanding of your options.
What is a JUUL E-Cigarette?
JUUL is a battery-powered device shaped like a USB flash drive that heats a nicotine-containing liquid to produce an aerosol that is inhaled.
Unlike other vaping devices, JUUL uses nicotine salts, a proprietary ingredient found in leaf-based tobacco. JUUL devices are manufactured by Juul Labs, Inc. and are one of the most widely used e-cigarette devices in the United States.
Like most electronic cigarettes, JUUL products use ingredients that contain nicotine. Other vaping devices may use a number of compositions of flavorings, propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin, and other ingredients in their products.
Electronic cigarette products are often manufactured to look like regular cigarettes, cigars, or pipes or other everyday items, such as ink pens and USB flash drives.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), e-cigarette aerosol can contain harmful and potentially harmful substances, including:
- Ultrafine particles that can be inhaled deep into the lungs
- Flavoring 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
In many cases, it is difficult for consumers to know exactly what chemicals are being used in e-cigarette products and other vaping devices.
E-Cigarette Use Among Teens and Young Adults
Although e-cigarettes and similar vaping devices are often used to stop smoking, they have become widely popular in the U.S., especially among kids, teenagers and young adults. In fact, JUUL e-cigarettes and similar devices have been reportedly marketed specifically for young people.
According to the CDC:
- Over 3 million middle and high school students used e-cigarettes in 2018.
- From 2017 to 2018, E-cigarette use increased by 78 percent among high school students and 48 percent among middle school students.
- According to a 2013-2014 survey, 81 percent of current youth e-cigarette users cited the availability of appealing flavors as the primary reason for use.
Scientists are still learning about the long-term effects of e-cigarettes, and the impact may be far more dangerous for younger populations.
FDA Warning Concerning E-Cigarette Use Among Young People
Use of JUUL e-cigarettes and vaping devices has risen among teens and young adults, particularly in the United States. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), “kids are trying these products and liking them without even knowing they contain nicotine,” which can potentially lead to years of addiction.
The CDC notes that nicotine can be especially harmful to the developing adolescent brain, particularly those that control attention, learning, mood and impulse control.
The long-term effects of e-cigarettes are unclear, and some of the ingredients in e-cigarette “vapor” could have serious long-term health effects.
Likewise, there is evidence that the use of such devices by young people may lead to conventional smoking in the future.
Are JUUL E-Cigarettes and Other Vaping Products Regulated by the FDA?
The FDA regulates the manufacture, import, packaging, labeling, advertising, promotion, sale, and distribution of e-cigarette products, including components and parts of electronic vaping devices (with the exception of vaping accessories).
Components regulated by the FDA include:
- A glass or plastic vial container of e-liquid
- Certain batteries
- Digital display or lights to adjust settings
- Tank systems
- Drip tips
- Flavorings for ENDS
- Programmable software
In 2016, the FDA extended regulatory authority to cover all tobacco products, including electronic cigarettes and other vaping products that meet the definition of a tobacco product. As a result, the sale of e-cigarette products to people younger than 18 years of age became illegal.
Lung Illnesses Associated with the Use of E-Cigarettes and Vaping Devices
Serious, sometimes deadly, lung illnesses have been reportedly linked to the use of JUUL e-cigarettes and other vaping devices. According to the CDC, over 1,000 cases of lung injury have been reported throughout the United States.
As of early October 2019, approximately 18 deaths have been confirmed across 15 states as well. Because the nature of this issue began to emerge rapidly in the summer of 2019, overall numbers associated with vaping-related lung illnesses continue to rise.
Based on initial data from certain states the CDC is warning that “[m]ost patients have reported a history of using e-cigarette products containing THC. Many patients have reported using THC and nicotine. Some have reported the use of e-cigarette products containing only nicotine.”
However, the specific cause of these lung injuries remains unknown, and local and federal government agencies are continuing to learn about more the relationship between vaping and lung illness.
Has There Been a JUUL Recall?
At the time of publication, a product recall has not been issued for JUUL e-cigarettes; however, retailers across the U.S. have begun pulling most “flavors” as the FDA and other federal agencies are investigating the manufacturer’s products. Product recalls may be conducted by the product’s manufacturer, by FDA request, or by FDA order.
Although JUUL has not been recalled or withdrawn from the market, potential litigation could possibly claim that the product makers failed to disclose known side effects of the device and that patients suffered damages as a result. Failure to warn of injuries related to the devices can be a basis of company liability, regardless of whether the product has been recalled.
Is There a JUUL Class Action Lawsuit?
At the time of this article’s publication, a JUUL class action lawsuit action has not been filed on behalf of consumers who suffered serious injuries linked to the e-cigarette devices. Attorneys are doubtful that a class action will be certified for patients who are adversely affected by the e-cigarette products.
Instead, if multiple lawsuits are filed against the manufacturers alleging injuries and other damages caused by JUUL and other e-cigarette products, it is anticipated that these potential lawsuits will be consolidated for discovery and other pretrial proceedings.
When cases are consolidated in this way in federal court it is called multidistrict litigation (MDL), and on a state level it is known as a state court consolidated proceeding.
MDLs are distinct from class actions, and it is generally agreed that consolidating cases instead of proceeding in a class action is a more efficient and effective way of handling claims arising from injuries caused by defective and potentially dangerous consumer products.
In most cases that proceed in an MDL or state court consolidated proceedings, after a certain period of time initial trials, also known as bellwether trials, take place. The purpose of these trials is for the parties to get an idea of the types of evidence and arguments that will made, as well as to see how juries will respond to the evidence and arguments.
After a certain number of cases have been tried, the parties are in a better position to determine whether a case can be settled.
JUUL Lawsuit News
- September 2019The CDC warns the public about the use of nicotine salts, a key ingredient in JUUL e-cigarettes. According to a report by CNBC, the CDC believes that the salts are particularly a concern for teenagers and young adults who use JUUL products.
- August 2019Officials with the Illinois Department of Health learns of the death of a person who had been reportedly hospitalized with a serious respiratory illness after vaping. The individual’s death is reportedly the first death linked to e-cigarettes and vaping devices in the 2019 outbreak.
- August 2016The FDA extends regulatory authority to cover all tobacco products, including electronic cigarettes and other vaping products. As a result, the sale of e-cigarette products to people younger than 18 years of age became illegal.
How Can an Attorney Can Help If I Choose to File a JUUL Lawsuit?
Manufacturers have a duty to provide safe products. If there are risks of harm associated with their products, they also must provide adequate warnings. If a product maker fails to fulfill this duty, it could be held liable in lawsuits for injuries that may result.
People injured by JUUL e-cigarette products, or other vaping devices, may be eligible to recover money for:
- Medical Expenses
- Lost Wages
- Pain and Suffering
The families of those who have died may be eligible to recover money for funeral expenses and the pain that comes with losing a loved one.