A 21-year-old Pennsylvania man is suing vape company JUUL after spending two and a half weeks in the hospital for a vape-related lung injury.
Connor Evans was 19 when he picked up the habit of vaping. It wasn’t to wean himself off cigarettes, as JUUL and other vape companies had advertised. He’d never smoked cigarettes before. And he said he had no reason to believe vaping could be dangerous.
But last May, something just wasn’t right. “My lungs were filled up to – 80% of the capacity was filled with fluid,” he told Good Morning America. “So, I would cough and – you could tell stuff was coming up. Like, it wasn’t – it wasn’t a healthy cough, for sure.”
While in the hospital, Evans was put into a medically induced coma for eight days so that his lungs could heal. When he was brought back to consciousness, “I had to learn how to walk again, basically,” he said.
Evans filed his lawsuit against JUUL claiming the company failed to “properly assess and warn about the harm that its products cause to the human lungs and body.” He also claims the company falsely advertised its vaping products as a safe alternative to traditional cigarettes despite the fact they contain nicotine, and often more of the addictive chemical.
Evans is one of at least 1,479 people who have developed the mysterious vape-related lung injury across 49 states. To date, 33 have died. No brand or ingredient has been linked to the outbreak, though most people who have developed the illness reported having vaped THC products, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Beasley Allen lawyers Joseph VanZandt and Sydney Everett, together with Mass Torts Section Head Andy Birchfield, are currently representing several individuals who are suing JUUL for the negative impact its products have had on their lives. On Oct. 7 they also filed lawsuits on behalf of school districts in three states, which seek to protect students and recover resources spent fighting the vaping epidemic.