In late August 2019, a Utah father of three was fighting for his life due to a vaping-related lung disease. Sean Bills was admitted to the hospital and was later placed in a medically induced coma. The man began experiencing shortness of breath, pain, and inability to breath on his own. According to the man’s wife, the couple had been vaping daily for approximately two years.
The man was diagnosed with lipoid pneumonia, which was probably caused by inhaling fat particles. The doctors treating the man believe that the constant vaping is to blame for the diagnosis.
So far, there have been a cluster of instances of severe lung disease that could possibly be linked to vaping. The Utah Department of Health began investigating at least 21 cases of vaping-related lung diseases in the state.
The CDC is also on alert – roughly 120 people have developed similar issues nationwide.
About Lipoid Pneumonia
Lipoid pneumonia is a rare medical condition that develops when fat particles enter the lungs. There are two types of lipoid pneumonia – exogenous lipoid pneumonia and endogenous lipoid pneumonia. Exogenous lipoid pneumonia occurs when fat particles enter the lungs (from outside the body) via the nose or mouth. Endogenous lipoid pneumonia occurs when fat particles accumulate in the lungs and cause inflammation; other names for endogenous lipoid pneumonia include cholesterol pneumonia, golden pneumonia, and idiopathic lipoid pneumonia.
The most common symptoms associated with lipoid pneumonia (both types) include difficulty breathing, chest pain, and chronic cough. Some of the less common symptoms include difficulty swallowing, night sweats, weight loss, fever, and even coughing up blood.
Lipoid pneumonia can develop due to the inhalation of fatty substances. Recently, the oil-based substances found in e-cigarettes and vaping products have been linked to the development of lipoid pneumonia.
Information from the CDC
The CDC has began investigating the outbreak of e-cigarette or vaping product use associated lung injury (EVALI). So far, EVALI patients have confirmed using over 152 different THC-containing brands of vapes. The investigation supported by the CDC also suggests that EVALI is associated with products that contain THC in general rather than a specific brand.
Fluid samples collected from patients’ lungs contained vitamin E acetate. There were 29 lung fluid samples from patients throughout 10 states; vitamin E acetate was identified in all the samples. Both THC and nicotine were also identified in the sample, 82% and 62% respectively.
As of early December 2019, there have been more than 2,290 cases of hospitalized EVALI cases reported to the CDC (from all states). At least 48 deaths have been confirmed in 25 states.
The CDC is recommending that the public stop using e-cigarette or vaping products that contain THC. Considering that one of the most-heavily reported brands was Dank Vapes (a black-market brand of unknown origin), the CDC is urging consumers not to purchase e-cig or vaping products from informal sources. The CDC is also urging consumers to not modify e-cigarette or vaping products in any way.
More on Vitamin E Acetate
Vitamin E acetate is an oily substance that is harmless in most cases. It is normally found in different household products, such as foods, supplements, and skin creams, for example. Vitamin E acetate is harmless when applied topically or ingested; however, it is very harmful when it is inhaled. Specifically, the inhalation of vitamin E acetate can severely interfere with normal lung functions.
Vitamin E acetate has been added to e-cigarette and vaping products by those you are manufacturing illegitimate products on the black market. The vitamin E acetate is used as a thickener – it is successfully used as such because it resembles the THC oil used in the vaping products.
You Could Be Harmed – You Could Sue
Consumers who use vaping products assume that they are safe for regular use. After all, these products wouldn’t be available to the public if they were dangerous. Unfortunately, many people opt out from purchasing these products from legitimate sources and instead purchase illicit products from unknown sellers to save a few bucks. This is when unsuspecting consumers are harmed.
If you or a member of your family suffered any harm as a result of a vaping product, you might be eligible to take legal action against the “company” that manufactured the hazardous vaping products. Depending on the details surrounding your claim, you might have the right to sue – you might also have the right to receive compensation for the harm that you or a member of your family suffered.
Filing a claim can be difficult – especially considering that the specific incident involves illegitimate products from the black market. Black market brands cannot always be traced to one manufacturer or “company.” Although it could be difficult, it is not impossible – our lawyers are ready to help.
You Could Recover Compensation
Depending on the specific details surrounding your claim, you could be eligible to recover compensation for the harm that you or a member of your family suffered. If your claim is successful, you could be eligible to recover compensation for at least some of the following:
- Medical expenses
- Lost earnings
- Pain and suffering
- Funeral and burial costs
- Loss of consortium
- Punitive damages
To ensure that you have a thorough understanding of the specific type and amount of compensation that you could be eligible to recover if your claim reaches a successful outcome, do not hesitate to contact our law firm at your earliest convenience. Our lawyers are ready to aggressively fight for your right to recover the highest amount of compensation available for your claim. Do not hesitate to seek legal assistance with our experts at your earliest convenience.
What Should I Do?
What should you do if you were harmed? Anyone who suffers harm associated with a product that they purchased should do the following:
- Immediately stop using the product
- Seek medical attention
- Speak to witnesses or others who might have used the same product
- Try to contact the company to report the incident and the harm suffered (if you can effectively contact the company or the party that sold you the product, do not agree to a refund, a repair, or a replacement, for example)
- Do not tamper with the product in any way
- Take photos of the product
- Gather all medical records
- Seek legal assistance
If at any point you are unsure of what to do next, simply seek legal assistance and discuss your current situation with the experts at our firm.
Downtown L.A. Law Group – Contact Us Today
At Downtown L.A. Law Group, our lawyers have many years of experience handling all sorts of claims and representing the best interests of victims and their families. Our lawyers are dedicated to providing victims and their families with the representation necessary to reach successful claim outcomes. To ensure that all affected parties have access to the appropriate legal representation, our firm offers free legal services.
Our free legal services include both free consultations and free second opinions. During our free consultations and free second opinions, our lawyers will be available to answer all questions and address all your concerns. This allows our lawyers to provide you with all the information that you need to either start or continue your claim without ever paying anything to speak with our lawyers. If you are ready to benefit from our free consultations or free second opinions, do not hesitate to contact our firm at your earliest convenience.
The free legal services that we offer are available as part of our Zero-Fee guarantee – a guarantee that our clients will never have to worry about paying any upfront legal fees for any of our legal services. Our firm is also strictly based on contingency; this means that our clients will never be required to pay anything until after reaching a successful claim outcome. If you do not win, you will not pay.