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Are serious lung damage due to vaping lawsuits a viable option?

October 27, 2019 • by Wiener & Lambka

The short answer at this time is most likely, no.

In light of the serious lung problems that have come about through the use of vape devices, several states have moved to ban vaping devices or vaping cartridges. A lawsuit has been filed in Washington by a gentleman who suffered lung damage after using a vape device to ingest marijuana. If a vape device causes you injuries to your lungs, however, there is not a very good likelihood that there will be a legal remedy for this situation.

First, it is not clear what is causing the lung problems in the vape users as of this writing. Whether it is the device or the material being ingested is not known. The CDC continues its investigation into the matter and the common denominator is starting to look like marijuana cartridges are the likely problem here, but which ones and why are still unknown.

These cartridges can come from a business but also are sold on the black market. Most people will have used more than one variety of cartridge and therefore it will be very difficult to ascertain which cartridge might be the causational link to the lung problems. Because it is difficult, if not impossible, to determine exactly what caused the lung damage, and because the cartridge maker will be inclined to blame the vape device maker, and because vape devices are almost all made in China, the complexity of figuring out exactly who to blame and then following through with an effective lawsuit that actually can then collect money for damages makes a good outcome at the end not likely.

This analysis shouldn’t be confused with a lawsuit against a specific company for a known problem such as a lawsuit against JUUL for marketing to children or for product liability, where applicable. These lawsuits will stand on their own merits. The main difference being the known company and its practices and there not being other possible causes of the injury.

If you were to suffer lung damage as a result of vaping anything, the best thing you can do is to hold onto whatever cartridges and device you used. Hopefully, as more information comes out there will be greater clarity in terms of causation but as of this writing, such lawsuits would seem very unlikely to have overall success.

The Washington Post just had an article entitled the five myths about vaping that cover the most recent findings relating to the vape lung damage cases and we are pleased to link to it here:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/five-myths/five-myths-about-vaping/2019/10/17/d3cc565e-f029-11e9-8693-f487e46784aa_story.html

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