Vaping Litigation grows in US

Young consumers of Vaping products in the US have commenced Litigation against E-Cigarette manufacturer Juul Labs Inc. and Others.

Media have reported several deaths and many illnesses apparently attributed to use of E-Cigarettes. This product allows consumers to inhale nicotine vapour (many brands flavoured) without “smoking”.

There have been many lawsuits filed across the United States both on an individual and class basis. The majority of the lawsuits have been taken against Juul which controls circa 75% of the E-Cigarette market.

Some of the lawsuits name Altria Group as a further Defendant. Altria Group is the manufacturer of Marlboro cigarettes and has a minority shareholding in Juul.

The lawsuits complain of a number of things including that the Plaintiff’s became addicted to E-Cigarettes and one Plaintiff says that he suffered a stroke as a result of use of the products and another person who is a minor and suing through her parents says that she suffered a seizure as a result of use of the E-Cigarette device.

Some of the lawsuits accuse Juul of false and misleading marketing on the basis that the products are marketed as an aid to persons who wish to give up cigarette smoking when in fact they are marketing the E-Cigarettes to minors and young adults who were non-smokers. It is also alleged that Juul represented that its products were a safe alternative to cigarettes whereas E-Cigarettes deliver higher doses of nicotine to consumers.

Many of the actions also allege inadequate health warnings and fail to state that the product is inherently dangerous to health. The Defendants deny the allegations and say that they will defend the Proceedings.

Efforts are being made in various jurisdictions across the United States to agree case management for the high volume of claims and some states are considering restricting the flavours in which the product can be sold.

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This document is for information purposes only and does not purport to represent legal advice.  
© O’Rourke Reid 2019