E-Cigarette & Vaping Deaths, Lung Injuries & Illnesses

E-cigarette smoking, also known as vaping or “Juuling,” has grown in popularity in recent years, especially among teenagers and young adults. Vaping nicotine products, including the best-selling JUUL, as well as THC (marijuana) products has caused death in many users, and there is a growing epidemic of lung injury known as EVALI (short for “e-cigarette, or vaping, lung-related injury”).

How common are e-cigarette or vaping deaths? How common is lung injury (EVALI) from vaping? Can vaping make someone more susceptible of dying from another illness, such as coronavirus (COVID-19) or pneumonia? What are the legal rights of someone who has been seriously injury from vaping or who has lost a family member from vaping?

At Levy Konigsberg, we understand that, if you have been injured or if someone you love has died due to defective e-cigarettes or the dangers of vaping, you likely have a lot of questions. Our defective e-cigarette attorneys are here to provide the answers and information you need to move forward. Our firm is widely recognized as one of the leading civil litigation and product liability law firms in the United States, and we have successfully recovered more than $3 Billion in compensation for our clients, including numerous million- and multimillion-dollar awards. We are here to fight for you and the fair compensation you are owed.

Call (800) 315-3806 or contact us online to schedule a complimentary consultation and case review with a vaping injury attorney at Levy Konigsberg today.

Death from E-Cigarette Vaping

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), there were 68 confirmed deaths from e-cigarette vaping as of February 2020 across 29 states. Not only is this number growing, but the number of “confirmed” cases underestimates the number of actual deaths from vaping because it only includes cases in which doctors have investigated vaping as a cause of death and reported it to local health authorities.

Vaping can cause death by causing severe inflammation of the lung tissue, resulting in the lungs essentially shutting down. Cases of death from vaping or e-cigarettes have been reported in teenagers and adults. These cases include a 15-year-old from Texas who had only been vaping for one month.

Unlike traditional cigarettes, in which death is known to occur many decades after first use of the product, vaping deaths result from “acute” lung damage typically occurring without any “lag time” (latency) between the use of the product and injury or death. Vaping or e-cigarette use may also contribute to death by making a person more susceptible or vulnerable from dying from an unrelated illness, such as COVID-19 (coronavirus) or pneumonia, that affects the lungs.

E-Cigarette, or Vaping, Lung-Related Injury (EVALI)

According to the CDC, there were more than 2,800 hospitalized cases of lung injury (EVALI) from e-cigarettes or vaping occurring in all 50 states as of February 2020. The number of injuries, which the CDC described as an “outbreak,” is continuing to increase. Additionally, vaping or e-cigarette use is believed to be a contributing factor in many COVID-19 (coronavirus) hospitalizations.

Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, the New York Times published an investigative report in January 2020 of 2,602 hospitalizations and 59 deaths from vaping. According to the report, the vaping injuries involved shortness of breath and other pulmonary (lung-related) symptoms, with lung damage confirmed by radiology (usually CT scan).

Of the 2,602 cases, 70% were male and the overall age distribution was:

  • 18 years of age or under (15%)
  • 24 years of age or under (39%)
  • 34 years or younger (26%)

In other words, younger people, specifically those under the age of 35, accounted for 80% of all of these serious vaping-related injuries requiring hospitalizations.

According to the same New York Times report, these vaping injuries occurred in patients who had vaped nicotine products, as well as those who had vaped THC products. The most common nicotine vaping product reported in these hospitalized patients is JUUL.

Determining If You Have a Vaping or E-Cigarette Death or Injury Lawsuit

If you have a child, parent, or family member who has died or been hospitalized from e-cigarettes or vaping, you may be able to file a lawsuit to recover money damages for both the victim (injured or deceased) and for the family members (spouse, child, or parent) of the victim.

Legal claims that may be brought include those based on:

  • Negligence
  • Product liability (defective product)

It may be possible to collect both compensatory damages, which are meant to compensate victims for specific losses, as well as punitive damages, which are meant to punish the defendant for egregious negligence or wanton/willful misconduct, depending on the severity of the misconduct of the companies involved with manufacturing or selling the product.

Some vaping or e-cigarette manufacturers have marketed their products in a manner to attract teenagers, leading to a new generation of addicted users. Nicotine is a highly addictive drug, and those who begin using nicotine as teens are more vulnerable to becoming long-term addicted users. In many instances, the aggressive marketing of e-cigarettes and related products to teens has served as grounds for the awarding of punitive damages.

Who Should Handle an E-Cigarette/Vaping Death or Injury Case?

An e-cigarette/vaping lawsuit involving death or serious injury should be evaluated and handled by a law firm with experience in complex product liability cases, preferably one that has handled cases against the tobacco industry. These cases tend to be very complex; you want a legal team that has the experience, resources, and skills to effectively take on powerful tobacco companies and protect your rights throughout the entire process.

Levy Konigsberg is a leading product liability law firm with numerous victories against major tobacco companies. Our successes in this area of law include the Summerlin case in Massachusetts, in which our client was awarded $43.1 million, and the Mulholland case in New York, which resulted in a $5.5 million award for our client. We are known for our personalized and innovative approach to litigation, as well as our aggressive pursuit of the maximum compensation our clients are owed.

No Fee Unless We Win Your Case
Levy Konigsberg handles e-cigarette and vaping injury and death cases nationwide, and we offer free consultations to all prospective clients. Our vaping injury attorneys provide legal services on a contingency fee basis, meaning you do not owe any upfront or out-of-pocket expenses when you work with our team. Instead, we only collect attorney fees if/when we win your case.

If you have a potential vaping injury or death lawsuit or a defective e-cigarette case, contact our experienced and compassionate attorneys at Levy Konigsberg today. Our multilingual staff can assist you in a variety of languages, including Spanish, Russian, and Portuguese, and we are always happy to address any concerns you may have.

Call (800) 315-3806 or contact us online using our free and secure submission form.


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