Juul Lawsuit Claim Information: Have You Been Injured?
Legally Reviewed and Edited by: Terry Cochran
Juul Labs, Inc. is facing claims that they marketed their products to teens and misled consumers about the health risks of vaping. Many people have suffered various health conditions, including pulmonary diseases, nicotine poisoning, hemorrhagic strokes, and even death after using Juul products.
If you or a loved one has suffered a Juul-related illness or death in Michigan, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact Cochran, Kroll, & Associates, P.C. today to determine if you qualify to file a lawsuit against Juul.
What is Juul?
In September 2018, Juul Labs, Inc accounted for 75% of e-cigarettes sold in the U.S., leading many people to use the term Juul for any e-cigarette product. An e-cigarette device uses a battery-operated heating element to aerosolize nicotine and other chemicals for inhalation.
Vaping in Teens is a Public Health Epidemic
The FDA’s 2020 Youth Tobacco Use survey revealed good news: 1.8 million fewer U.S. young people are using e-cigarettes than they were in 2019. Unfortunately, 3.6 million still reported using an e-cigarette in the last month.
Of those 3.6 million users, 8 in 10 used flavored pods, while one in four used their e-cigarette daily, indicating strong nicotine addiction behavior.
Sadly, many Michigan counties report youth e-cigarette use higher than the national statistics, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services found.
Federal E-Cigarette Laws
In September 2019, the legal age to purchase any tobacco product, including e-cigarettes, rose to 21. In January of 2020, the FDA banned unauthorized flavor cartridges to curb e-cigarette use in minors.
E-Cigarette Laws in Michigan
According to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, there are currently two e-cigarette laws in Michigan:
Michigan Public Act 17 of 2019:
- Defines liquid nicotine and liquid nicotine container
- Establishes a minimum safety standard for all liquid nicotine containers
- Requires vapor products to be stored in locked cases
Michigan Public Act 18 of 2019:
- Defines e-cigarettes, alternative nicotine products, vapor products, and other emerging tobacco products as separate from other tobacco products
- Probits sales to minors
- Prohibits possession and use by minors
Experts allege Juul marketed their e-cigarettes to minors, especially its sleek shape, colorful exterior, and thousands of flavored pods. Until 2018, Juul used influencers on social media to market their products, although they have since deleted their accounts. It is worth noting that many of the company’s executives are former executives of Altria, a cigarette company.
There are currently thousands of active lawsuits against Juul in the United States, with most lawsuits filed by young adults or parents of teenagers who had used Juul. These lawsuits claim that Juul:
- Knowingly and intentionally marketed their product to minors
- Promoted nicotine use while failing to reveal the nicotine in their pods is more potent and more addictive
- Sold e-cigarette devices and pods that are defective and unreasonably dangerous to users
In addition, a former employee is suing for wrongful termination as a result of whistleblowing. The employee revealed that Juul did not recall 1 million contaminated mint-flavored pods in October of 2019. That case is still pending.
As of 2021, Michigan has not entered any class action lawsuits against Juul, although it has joined an investigation against the company for marketing to minors. The multiple lawsuits will likely be combined into a multi-district litigation (MDL). In an MDL Juul injury case, the damages will be determined individually for each plaintiff.
How Dangerous are E-Cigarettes?
E-cigarettes are highly addictive and cause severe side effects, yet many people mistakenly believe they are healthier than traditional tobacco products.
While Juul products have many severe side effects that can drastically damage a person’s quality of life through a personal injury or cause death, the biggest health concern relates to lung issues. E-cigarette usage increases the risk of lung disease. The vapor in e-cigarettes is thought to disable immunity cells in the lungs, which leads to inflammation and severe side effects.
E-Cigarette or Vaping Product Use Associated Lung Injury (EVALI)
The disease was first identified in 2019. According to the Center for Disease Control, by February of 2020, 2,807 people had been hospitalized, and 68 people in 29 states had died due to this condition.
This condition is thought to be caused by the additive vitamin E acetate, which was frequently used in THC-related vaping products, and is described as a chemical burn on the lungs.
Fortunately, the frequency of EVALI has gradually fallen since September of 2019, although it isn’t understood why. It may be because people are more aware of the dangers of vaping now, or it may be because companies have started removing vitamin E acetate from their pods.
Bronchiolitis Obliterans Organizing Pneumonia (BOOP)
This rare lung condition occurs when both the bronchioles and alveolar lung spherical units are simultaneously inflamed. Corticosteroids can treat BOOP, but in more advanced cases, a lung transplant may be required.
Over a decade ago, the chemical diacetyl was removed from microwave popcorn after it was determined to cause scarring on workers’ lungs in the processing plants. However, it is used as an additive in many popular Juul pods and other e-cigarette cartridges. The damage done by diacetyl is irreversible and makes breathing difficult, often resulting in a lung transplant or death.
Other Health Issues
Nicotine Addiction and Nicotine Poisoning
Contrary to popular belief, Juul pods do not contain less nicotine than traditional tobacco products. One vape pod contains 40 mg of nicotine, which is as much nicotine as a pack of cigarettes, although random samples revealed some pods had up to 48 mg.
According to the CDC, 50-60 mg is considered a deadly dose. While you won’t absorb that much from smoking it, if the pod leaks onto your skin, you can absorb it that way. This is why faulty liquid nicotine cartridges are so dangerous.
Signs of nicotine poisoning include diarrhea, low blood pressure, seizures, slow heart rate, and breathing issues.
A hemorrhagic stroke happens when a blood vessel in the brain ruptures and blood accumulates on the brain, causing pressure that can lead to paralysis and even death. People who use e-cigarettes have a 71% higher chance of experiencing a stroke than non-users.
How to File a Lawsuit Against Juul in Michigan
If you are considering filing a lawsuit against Juul for yourself or on behalf of a minor, there are a few things you need to do immediately:
- Preserve the e-cigarette and fluid, especially if you believe either is defective.
- Document the following:
- How long you used your e-cigarette
- How frequently you used your e-cigarette
- The number of pods you used in a day
- The brand of e-cigarette and pods you used
- Attempts to quit
- Exposure to any ads as a minor (if suing on behalf of a minor)
- Obtain copies of your medical records.
- Inventory the emotional and mental toll of the side effects of your usage.
- Hire an attorney with proven experience in winning medical lawsuits. Eileen Kroll, one of our senior partners, is a registered nurse, which means she can put her experience to use fighting for you.
File a Juul Lawsuit in Michigan
At Michigan law firm Cochran, Kroll, & Associates, P.C., we have extensive experience handling medical and product liability lawsuits. Our unique understanding and experience in both arenas mean you will receive support at every step of the process.
Disclaimer : The information provided is general and not for legal advice. The blogs are not intended to provide legal counsel and no attorney-client relationship is created nor intended.