In the latest developments against Juul, the company faces criticism and Federal Trade Commission investigation over deceptive marketing practices that illegally glamorized vaping and targeted minors. The State of New York is already suing Juul for misrepresenting its products as safer than cigarettes to create a “vaping epidemic.”
In addition to the scrutiny around marketing practices, an ex-employee alleges in a lawsuit the company shipped over 1 million contaminated pods in 2019 and knowingly did not notify the public of the risk. Here’s what you need to know to be informed on recent evidence and findings about e-cigarette risks.
Have you been injured by a defective product? Cline Farrell Christie Lee & Bell has an experienced team of product liability attorneys who can help you explore your options.
What Injuries Are Caused by Vaping?
So far, the CDC has linked the recent outbreak of lung illness, including 2,291 injuries and 47 deaths, to some black market THC products. However, 20-30% of cases did not report using illicit substances, only nicotine products or flavored liquids. The White House plans to issue a ban on all flavored e-cigarettes except tobacco flavor, including mint and menthol flavors. Manufacturers like Juul argue that mint and menthol should be allowed to stay on the market, but the mint flavor comes up in the second lawsuit as well.
Alleged Juul Pod Contamination
Former Juul VP of Global Finance Siddarth Breja alleges in a California suit that he was fired for raising concerns when the company shipped tainted pods. He was asked in a meeting to recover $7M from a supplier for a contaminated shipment of mint refill kits. Breja urged the CFO to either issue a recall or a public safety warning. He was then terminated a week later. Juul claims Breja was let go because he was not performing in his role. Juul also responded saying it had investigated the contamination and determined the product still met “all specifications.” The true extent and implication of the contamination remains to be seen.
At CFCLB we help injured parties recover peace of mind and move on with their lives after unexpected developments like a lung illness or chronic condition from vaping. When these products are marketed as “safter than cigarettes” but then prove to be equally or more dangerous and addictive the manufacturers might be responsible for the damages that result.