Electronic cigarettes, also known as e-cigarettes or vapes, have become increasingly popular as an alternative to smoking cigarettes.
But numerous incidents involving e-cigarettes have prompted increasing concern about their safety. Some e-cigarettes have exploded, causing burns and blast injuries to users.
The use of e-cigarettes also has been associated with more than 380 cases of lung illness including a handful of deaths, prompting increased scrutiny by health authorities. The lung illness cases have been reported in dozens of states including South Carolina.
Manufacturers of e-cigarettes and vaping devices have a legal responsibility to produce products that are safe when used as directed and to provide adequate warning of foreseeable risks of using the products. When manufacturers fail to meet their legal responsibility, they should be held accountable. If you or your loved one has been injured by a vape explosion or developed breathing problems after vaping, you may have a legal right to file a vape injury lawsuit and hold the manufacturer financially responsible for your medical bills and other related losses.
Our personal injury lawyers at Joye Law Firm can review your injury and discuss your legal rights during a free consultation. Our attorneys concentrate on pursuing compensation to help clients handle the physical and emotional consequences of a serious injury caused by vaping. Joye Law Firm has been standing up for injured people in South Carolina for more than 50 years. While we cannot guarantee a specific result in any case, our record of verdicts and settlements shows the effort we put into each case we pursue and our experience handling complex cases. Our law firm is honored by the testimonials of former clients.
Call to speak with a vaping injury attorney at Joye Law Firm or use our online contact form.
What Injuries Can E-Cigarettes Cause?
E-cigarettes are marketed as an alternative to smoking cigarettes. E-cig devices work by heating a liquid, typically containing nicotine and other additives and flavorings, into a vapor, which users then inhale. Inhaling the aerosol is referred to as vaping or juuling, a reference to a particular brand, Juul e-cigarettes. E-cigarettes come in many shapes and sizes and are called by many names including e-cigs, vape pens, e-hookahs, vape mods and tank systems. Vaping has become popular with millions of young people. Some people vape rather than smoke cigarettes.
E-cigarettes pose a number of avoidable health risks. Most e-cigarettes and vape pens contain nicotine. No matter how nicotine is delivered, it is addictive and can harm the development of young people’s brains. The vapor from e-cigarettes contains harmful chemicals, heavy metals and flavoring additives associated with serious lung disease. Some e-cigarettes contain acrolein, a weed killer, that can cause acute lung injury and may cause lung cancer, according to the American Lung Association
- Lung Injuries — Vaping may cause serious damage to the respiratory system. Users of e-cigarettes have reported symptoms such as coughing, shortness of breath and chest pain. A multi-state outbreak of pulmonary illnesses reported by people who use vaping devices has prompted an investigation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- Explosions — Defective lithium batteries in e-cigarettes have overheated and caused fires and explosions, resulting in blast injuries, facial trauma and other serious injuries, according to the Food and Drug Administration. The malfunction may occur with the e-cigarette, the battery or the charger. Most explosions occurred when the batteries were being charged. A study in the British Medical Journal identified an estimated 2,035 e-cigarette explosions and burn injuries treated at U.S. hospital emergency rooms from 2015 to 2017.
- Burns — Users of e-cigarettes and vaping devices may suffer second- and third-degree burns to the mouth, lips and face if the device explodes. A medical study of e-cigarette burns identified 90 cases of e-cigarette related burn injuries in three years. Of the cases reviewed, 21 patients required skin grafts to close burn wounds caused by e-cigarettes and vaping devices.
A consensus report by the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine said the use of e-cigarettes causes health risks. Because e-cigarettes have only been on the market for a little more than a decade, more research is needed to determine all the long-term health effects of vaping.
What is Popcorn Lung?
Popcorn lung is a severe respiratory disease that is life threatening. The symptoms of popcorn lung, or bronchiolitis obliterans, include inflammation and scarring that develop in the small airway branches of the lungs, creating shortness of breath, a dry cough and wheezing.
The condition was first seen among workers who worked with food flavorings that include diacetyl at a microwave popcorn factory. While safe in foods, diacetyl can be dangerous when aerosolized and inhaled, research suggests. Long-term exposure to diacetyl can be harmful. Food workers now receive warnings about breathing the fumes of flavoring chemicals, but similar warnings do not yet exist for e-cigarettes.
In an article in Environmental Health Perspectives, health researchers at Harvard University’s School of Public Health analyzed 51 of the 7000-plus flavorings in e-cigarettes. They found diacetyl in 39 of the 51 flavors they tested.
Chemicals used to flavor e-cigarettes may impair lung function by harming the cilia that line human airways and play an important role in allowing people to breath easily, according to Harvard public health researchers. Impaired cilia function has been associated with respiratory diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma.
The health researchers called for urgent steps to evaluate exposure to harmful chemicals in e-cigarettes.
How Can a South Carolina Defective Product
If you or your loved one has been injured by an e-cigarette or developed breathing problems after using a vaping device, you may have a right to demand compensation from the e-cigarette manufacturer. The best first step is to educate yourself about your legal options by taking advantage of a free consultation with a knowledgeable attorney.
Our attorneys at Joye Law Firm have the resources and experience to conduct a thorough investigation of a vape explosion or e-cigarette related lung illness and identify those who should be held accountable.
You may seek compensation for the following types of damages related to an e-cigarette injury:
- Medical expenses including emergency room bills, surgery, reconstructive plastic surgery
- Lost wages and future lost income
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
You may have a right to pursue a lawsuit on your own or take part in a class-action lawsuit against e-cigs and an e-cigarette battery lawsuit settlement. Our attorneys can review the specific facts of your case and discuss your legal options for seeking compensation. When we take cases, our goal is to fight for full compensation so that you are not left burdened by medical debt due to an injury caused a product manufacturer’s disregard for safety.
In order to obtain compensation for harm caused by an unsafe e-cig product or vaping device, you must establish that the manufacturer of the product acted negligently and that resulted in harm to you or your loved one. Our attorneys understand the types of evidence needed to meet the burden of proof in a product liability case.
Many people who have suffered serious injuries from a defective product wonder how they can afford a personal injury attorney. If we handle your case, we will work on a contingency fee basis. You will not have any out-of-pocket costs and will not owe a legal fee unless we obtain money for you through a negotiated settlement or jury award. If we are successful, we receive a portion of the settlement or award to cover our legal fee and expenses.
For more than 50 years, the attorneys at Joye Law Firm have been standing up for South Carolinians who were injured and needed a strong advocate. We are proud of our record of results. Joye Law firm has offices in Charleston, Columbia, Clinton and Myrtle Beach and represents clients throughout South Carolina.