Vaping, in which a person inhales the vapors of a nicotine-based or cannabis-based liquid from an e-cigarette device, gained popularity as an alternative to smoking. E-cigarette companies advertised vaping, and consumers embraced it, as a safer alternative to smoking, as the risks inherent in smoke inhalation are absent. Soon thereafter, the dangers of vaping made themselves apparent. Cases of serious illness or death caused by vaping have occurred in 49 U.S. states; only Alaska has not reported a case of severe vaping illness. No one is sure what causes vaping illness and which, if any, of the ingredients in vape oil is so dangerous. Victims of vaping illness and their families have begun to file lawsuits against e-cigarette companies, and some manufacturers of vape juice, including one company in South Florida, have been named as defendants. If you have suffered a serious illness as a result of vaping, contact a South Florida product liability lawyer.
Details of the Erin Gilbert Case
Erin Gilbert is 35 years old and lives in the U.S. Virgin Islands with her three children. The first time she ever used a CBD product was in August 2019, when she vaped a mango-flavored CBD oil she bought from a shop near her home. The CBD oil was labeled JUST CBD, which is the name of a Miami company that sells non-THC cannabis products ranging from soaps to vape oils to edibles such as gummy candies. Gilbert began feeling ill shortly after vaping the CBD product, and her illness worsened over the next few days. She went to a hospital in the Virgin Islands, complaining of fever, vomiting, diarrhea, and shortness of breath. Doctors diagnosed her with pneumonia and treated her with antibiotics, but her respiratory distress continued to worsen. She was airlifted to a hospital in Miami, by which time her oxygen deprivation had caused several of her organs to fail and her legs to become necrotic. Doctors had to amputate her legs, and she was placed on life support. She is now able to breathe with a tracheal tube but remains hospitalized at Jackson Memorial Hospital, according to the Miami New Times.
Gilbert’s family filed a lawsuit in Miami against Just CBD. Representatives of Just CBD responded by alleging that the product Gilbert used was not theirs. They pointed to the fact that many cases of vaping illnesses have involved unregulated vape oils that consumers or distributors ordered from China. Just CBD, by contrast, uses only food-grade ingredients carefully controls the proportions of ingredients, and labels its products in detail. According to Just CBD’s statement, some Chinese manufacturers counterfeit the labels of CBD products to make them look like they came from reputable U.S. companies. Since Just CBD does not sell its products at stores in the Virgin Islands, it alleges that the vape oil that caused Erin Gilbert’s illness was not a Just CBD product.
Contact Smith, Ball & Báez Injury Lawyers About Product Liability Cases
If you have suffered a serious illness after using a CBD vape oil, contact Palm Beach County products liability lawyers at Smith, Ball & Báez Injury Lawyers for a consultation to see if you have grounds for a lawsuit.